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Abbeyleix

(4.7/5 based on 40+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: parks
Abbeyleix is a town in County Laois, Ireland about 14km from Portlaoise and located on the N77 national secondary route. Formerly the N8 National Primary Route ran through the centre of the town, making Abbeyleix an infamous bottleneck on the Dublin-Cork corridor with up to 15,000 vehicles passing through the main street every day. However the town was bypassed by the M8 motorway on 28 May 2010.HistoryAbbeyleix is one of the oldest planned estate towns in Ireland. It was largely built in the 18th century by Viscount de Vesci and is situated near a 12th-century Cistercian monastery beside the River Nore around which the original village would have grown up. Today, there is a large range of historical structures still standing in and around the small heritage town - ancient ring forts, burial grounds, churches and beautiful estate houses. The town once had a carpet factory, established in 1904 by Yvo de Vesci, the 5th Viscount – notably producing some of the carpets used on the RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic.Heritage House is the heritage centre, with visitor information and an exhibition on the county's history and local attractions. Original antique carpets and vintage costumes are on display alongside archaeological and historical artefacts. The enclosed playground on site has attractive wooden play equipment with a maritime theme, to tie in with the Titanic connection. Heritage House is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 9am and 5pm.
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