Then & Now
Abbeyleix Heritage Group
Abbeyleix, an official Heritage Town of Ireland, was founded in the 18th century by Viscount de Vesci and is situated near a 12th century Cistercian monastery beside the River Nore. Today, there is a large range of historical structures still standing in and around the small village – ancient ring forts, burial grounds, early monastic buildings, Norman and mediaeval castles, churches and colonial estate houses. The town once had a famous carpet factory – notably producing some of the carpets used on the RMS Titanic.
There is a heritage house located in the old Patrician monastery schoolhouse which provides information on the town’s history. Tom Cox, manager of the Heritage House is a contributor to this unique book.