1773 – Heywood House, Ballinakill, Co. Laois

Architect: M.F. Trench / Thomas Drew



House originally designed by the owner Michael Frederick Trench in the 18th Century with the help of his friend, the well known architect, James Gandon on some interiors. Around this time, the parkland surrounding the house was considered by contemporaries to be one of the finest 18th century Romantic landscapes in Ireland. Later additions to the house included the awkward mansarded roofs, towers and porte-cochère to the front, and a grand library interior by Sir Thomas Drew circa 1875.

In the early 20th century, then owner, Colonel Hutcheson Poë, commisioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to design the formal gardens, which are the centrepiece of the property. It is likely that renowned designer Gertrude Jekyll landscaped them. Poë was reputed to have spent £250,000 on the redevelopment of the house and estate. Acquired by the Salesians in 1941 after sitting empty for some years. Nine years later in 1950 gutted by flames after a fire broke out. The house was demolished afterwards with the gardens passing into the care of the Office of Public Works.