How Abbeyleix looked in 1840

What the Maps Can Tell us?

At Heritage House we have a collection of Original First Edition Ordinance Survey Maps from 1839/41, which show us the entire county of Laois at a scale of 6 inches to one mile.

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The Cashel Bog Body, A Bronze Age King of Laois

Cashel man photographed shortly after the arrival of the archaeological team from the National Museum of Ireland 

On Wednesday 10th of August 2011, a remarkable find was uncovered on a bog in Co. Laois. A bog body was unearthed Read more

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Sensation and Presence in Francis Bacon


To take sensation and presence as concepts through which to look at Bacon’s art seems appropriate given his recurrent concern with pure feeling in his subjects and with his characteristic rendering or dismembering of the human form. In Read more

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The 6th Viscount de Vesci’s Struggle in WW2


J.E Vesey the future 6th Viscount dressed in Irish Guard Uniform 1940

John Eustace Vesey the 6th Viscount de Vesci of Abbeyleix was born in 1919, the only son of three children from the marriage of Colonel Hon. Thomas Eustace Read more

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Reason Crushed by the Infernal Dance: Bacon’s Study for a Bullfight No. 1 (c.1969).

Bullfight No. 1 (c.1969) Francis Bacon


In much of Bacon’s work, and certainly in the present painting, there seems to be an exemplification of the nineteenth-century French poet, Arthur Rimbaud’s advocacy of the deregulation of the senses in Read more

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Aengus the Culdee, a saint and church reformer 8th Century

8th Century Cross Slab from Clonenagh Co. Laois

Today March 11th marks the death of Aengus the Culdee or Aengus Céilí Dé (Aengus the servant of God), who lived, studied and died right here in Co. Laois. Aengus was Read more

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Bacon, Expressionism and ‘Inexpressivity’.


Francis Bacon visited Weimar Berlin in 1927 at the age of 18 accompanied by a certain Harcourt-Smith at the behest of Francis’ father. At the time Germany had entered a retrospectively-termed ‘golden age’ after World War I, subsequent Read more

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A Monument to Countess Aline at Emo

Unveiled in May 1875, the monument was placed in Emo Catholic Church. Commissioned by the 3rd Earl and sculpted by Boehm. 

Here we have a monument or effigy of Countess Aline Portarlington dedicated to her and unveiled in May Read more

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Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of Henrietta Moraes(1963) A Laois Connection

Undertaking a profane career that encompassed amphetamine-psychotic cat burglary in the ’60s for which she served prison time, Henrietta Moraes was the epitome of willful caprice and bohemianism throughout her adventurous life. Initially emerging in Soho pubs such as Read more

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Building the Big House

We have recently been lucky enough to come into possession of a fantastic document setting out the specification for the complete refurbishment of Donore House, Co Laois. The document dates to 1891 and gives a fascinating insight into how this Read more

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