Deep in the Woods


Buried in woodland managed by Coillte, the national forestry commission, this gazebo was once part of the parkland of Emo Court, County Laois. As James Howley noted in his book on The Follies and Garden Buildings of Ireland (1993), the structure bears similarities to the William Kent-designed Worcester Lodge on the Badminton estate in England. It dates from 1746, whereas the Emo Court gazebo is slightly later, believed to be c.1760. The rusticated base takes the form of a triumphal arch, with extensions on either side, one of which would have held a service room and the other a staircase. The latter provided access to the octagonal first floor, its cut-limestone exterior featuring alternating windows and arched niches with oculi above them all. Here presumably meals were taken on occasion and views across the demesne appreciated. The dome crowning the building has long since been lost, and some of the stonework looks in perilous condition.

6 comments on “Deep in the Woods

  1. Anne McFadgen says:

    A rather sad sight when compared to the beautifully kept Worcester Lodge at the Badminton estate in England which it resembles, though it does have its own charm. More in the picturesque ruin style favoured by the Romantics, perhaps.

  2. Johann Taljaard says:

    Can you please share gps location so we can visit this. Thanks.

  3. Neil F says:

    I went looking for this at the weekend with my camera in Hand. Can you give more detail of how to find it from the co-ordinates you have given. Is it deep in the woods as the title suggests or is it located along the edge or at a clearing like the picture suggests. Thanks.

    • Thank you for your message. On leaving Emo Court, follow the road signposted to Portarlington and before long there will be woodland on your right hand side. At a certain point, there is a barrier and path – the building is a little way down there.

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