Pictured here is Emo Court, a grand neo classical country villa near the small village of Emo in County Laois.
This house was designed by James Gandon, an architect famous for many of the great building works he completed in Dublin, including the Custom House and Four Courts. This was the only private residence designed by Gandon.
Construction began in 1790, but with Gandon being so busy with his great works in Dublin, he did not devote much time to Emo Court, and as a result it took many years for the building to be completed.
Originally commissioned for the 1st Earl of Portarlington, the man never saw the completion of his new home. He was killed in the 1798 rebellion and almost 50 years later the structure was still not complete. After the great famine, the house came close to being sold but the grandson of the 1st earl persevered and in 1860 the house came to resemble that which we see here today.
Even though many elements of the house are true to the original designs of Gandon, and he was no doubt involved during the first 20 years of its construction, it is generally accepted that he had little to do with the overall completion of the house. Due to his famous name though, he is still the one mostly connected to the house.
When the first world war broke out in 1914 the family moved to England the house was closed up. In 1930 the Jesuits bought the estate and turned the grounds into a very productive working farm with orchards and playing fields.
Even though the Jesuits had little consideration for the architecture (they made significant changes to the interior of the house to suit their own needs), it is a well accepted fact that without their having bought it, it would have suffered the fate of many great Irish houses of the time and been left to decay and collapse. Ireland is dotted with the ruins of these once great mansions, so it is great that some of them were saved.
The next owner after the Jesuits was Major Cholmeley Harrison who employed a leading Georgian architect from London to restore the house to its former glory. In 1994, Major Cholmeley Harrison gifted the house to the people of Ireland and it was presented to then President of Ireland; Mary Robinson. He continued to live here until his death in 2008 at the age of 99.
Today the house is maintained by the Office of Public works who keep the restored grounds and house in prime condition, and open all year round to visitors. The grounds include formal lawns, a lake and a woodland walk as well as a number of fine statues including Polyhymnia, Winter, Spring, Autumn and Summer, the Huntsman, Ceres and others.
thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
snunney (106465) 2013-07-16 8:05
The framing is a bit tight, nevertheless you have been able to capture this fine building from an interesting standpoint, making a strong composition. The image is well presented with good light, colours and sharpness.
Indrasish (2943) 2013-07-16 9:51
Another great shot by you.. Beautiful old architecture.. Good perspective also.. Nice composition and superb image quality too.. Sorry for my delay critique, because nowadays i am very busy for my office project.. Thanks for sharing this one with good information.. Have a nice day and wish you all the best..
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-07-16 14:01
architecture of this villa is impressive,but what I like even more is the perspective and angle you chose to capture this scene-it makes the presentation of the Emo Court really successful!Another thing making the shot so eye-catching is color scheme of it-blue and green always look great together!
Nice to see after your last shot,that not everything is in bankers hands:)
Superb presentation of this beautiful house!
Wish You all the best
carlo62 (54920) 2013-07-16 14:09
una storia molto lunga e complessa che ha accompagnato la costruzione e le varie modifiche effettuate.
Bello l'angolo di ripresa, ci mostra la bella architettura nel suo complesso, i riferimenti neoclassici sono evidenti e piacevoli.
Royaldevon (43333) 2013-07-16 14:36
This is a truly magnificent house, with classical features and some later alterations. Your viewpoint allows us to use the steps as the approach, just as real visitors would, and then there is a natural progression from left to right, following the converging lines!
The details are sharp and the colours natural. What is the purpose of the dome, to the right?
My warm regards,
chrisvek (7001) 2013-07-16 15:40
Excellent click with amazing colors and saturation.Splendid POV and background.Nice lightning usage and atmosphere.I like the result!
Have a nice day
jcpix (13948) 2013-07-16 20:04
You'll have to forgive my goofiness here, but the title instantly conjured up a vision of little prepubescent teenage "emo' kids running around this palatial estate wearing their skinny jeans, My Chemical Romance hairdo's and heavy eye liner while holding a kangaroo court...little punks! :)
Have you ever thought about writing for a travel log or something of the sort, your notes are always informative and help paint an even more in depth picture to your images? Love this chosen point of view, being slightly downhill and looking up at this angle really makes the building seem more grand and powerful...and the inclusion of the steps makes for an pleasing lead in, even though they're set off to the side. Very good detail in the front, I'm assuming that direction of light posed a challenge?? A beautiful building, the architecture and make up reminds me a bit of the Reichstag Building in Berlin. Very well composed, taken and presented...nicely done! Take it easy.
Cheers from the sandbox,
SnapRJW (31629) 2013-07-16 23:39
As you say Noel, this house has had a checkered history and it is fortunate that it survives. Your POV shows off the architecture very well, I love the curving bay on the LHS and the dome. Both elements add a little 'roundness' to the symmetrical Georgian architecture.I would have like to see a little more breathing space at the top of the frame but aside from that a very nice shot. Warm regards Rosemary
jhm (159949) 2013-07-17 2:19
The stair leads us perfectly toward this nice castle with the cupper dome on the roof.
Nice architecture picture too.
Truly a wonderful picture, congratulations.
Excellent composition, lovely presentation.
Very well done, TFS.
fabbs99 (17179) 2013-07-17 5:24
Beautiful architecture of this villa and a nice history.The picture is perfectly good on its composition, details, colors, atmosphere and quality.Excellent framing to get the maximum out of the composition.TFS.
mirosu (16273) 2013-07-17 6:32
I like the view up to unique building. You have captured it in superb afternoon (?) light. I like the change from sun lit fašade to the other side in shadow. There is an excellent contrast against bright sky. The stairs and the grass area is very well placed in the frame. May be I'd allow a bit more space on the top. But all in all, an excellent image. Greetings, Miro.
thebest (4276) 2013-07-17 21:06
Please forgive the long delay in responding to your last critic.
My husband & I have just returned from our 9 week overseas trip & we are exhausted...
I hope you are well & life is good - sorry to keep this message brief.
Your photo as always is excellent - natural colours & good POV always a pleasure to look at your images.
ourania (51079) 2013-07-19 12:50
a great point of view and a meticulously selected perspective have offered a very interesting presentation of this impressive mansion. Its story and its luck are remarkable, a lovely building certainly worth preserving. Your picture has excellent sense of depth and superb lighting and clarity. All these qualities make the details and general style of the building very attractive and also make it stand out as a very imposing structure against the dramatic sky. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,
omid266 (6750) 2015-03-05 20:48
Salam dear Noel,
Another great photo job in your archives,
your country really make me wondered with such these historic places and monuments and
i like to repeat again and named Ireland as the Land of Castles and monuments :)
Very handsome and vivid post and Thanks!
Truly Yours, ***