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Abbeyleix Heritage House

Abbeyleix Heritage House

Abbeyleix Heritage House is Laois' biggest history museum, community centre and business hub.

ūüďöNEW CHILDREN'S BOOK EXCHANGEūüďöOur new children's book exchange can now be found at the playground. Many thanks to the two Se√°ns for building this for us! ... See MoreSee Less
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For this week's CURATOR TUESDAY, we have Fruitlawn House.Fruitlawn house was built circa 1790 by the Leech family. Some theories suggest that the house was built as a millers house by Lord de Vesci and Mr Leech was recruited to run the mill. Fruitlawn Worsted Factory was across the field to the North of the house. It is noted on the first Ordanance Survey map of Laois in 1839. The factory is described in the 1840 Griffith Valuation survey as being a spinning factory. The factory was powered by a waterwheel off the River Nore and was operated by Mr Alan and Thomas Leeach. In 1837, the factory employed over 200 people in the combing, spinning and weaving of wool. The Leech family even brought linen from Kilkenny to the factory to be bleeched. By 1906, the mill had closed down. In 1912, the house and mills were sold to Captain William Vanderkiste. When the Civil War was in full swing by 1922, Vanderkiste decided it would be safe to move to England. The next tenant became JP Kelly who was an agent for Batchelors tinned vegetables, supplying farmers with peas and beans. The mill was sadly demolished in the 1940s. The modern house that is now on the site incorporates part of a dwelling which stood on the west gable of the former mill. In 1955, Fruitlawn House with 7.5 acres of land was sold for £1,000. The house continued to change ownership after this sale. For over 100 years, Fruitlawn was the seat of the Leech family and for 50 years, it was sold 10 times. In 1998, the Owens family bought Fruitlawn and turned it into a 21st century house. The Owens were serial restorers who went on to be the finalists in the 2018 'Home of the Year' competition for the restoration of a mill in West Cork. In 2006, they sold Fruitlawn for 1.4 million euro. Source: More Minor than Major ... See MoreSee Less
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** KEY FOUND **In playground at Abbeyleix Heritage House. Currently in safe keeping with Abbeyleix Garda stationThanks to Grace ūüĎŹ ... See MoreSee Less
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