Built 220 years ago as a coach house for Emo Court, the building has always been a stopping point to refuel and accommodate, although back then it was horses that needed refuelling, not cars! A watering hole, eatery and a bed to lie your head, the more things change the more they stay the same.

In operation by it’s current owners for over 20 years, The Gandon Inn is staffed by a committed local team who have customer care to the forefront to deliver consistently higher quality food and standards in a family friendly comfortable environment.

The Gandon Inn is owned and managed by the Treacy family of The Heath, bringing a rich heritage and history of 8 generations of hospitality in Laois.

Building History, Emo Court & James Gandon

Taylor & Skinner’s Road Maps of Ireland (2nd ed., 1783 pg. 96) Showing the tree lined Avenue

The Gandon Inn is steeped in almost 250 years of Irish history and heritage, nestled in the rolling hills and fields of the Irish countryside near Emo Court & Gardens and The Rock of Dunamaise.

The building was designed by world famous Georgian architect James Gandon c. 1790 as an ancillary building to Emo Court. Commissioned by John Dawson, the first Earl of Portarlington, the coach house, rooms, eatery and watering hole was built to accommodate both the guests of the Earl who came to Emo Court for business and pleasure, and to the travelling public.

The tree lined Wellingtonia Avenue, still visible today from ‘The Big House’ was a straight road from the Couch House to the front door of Emo Court, along which stagecoaches transported the guests.

James Gandon was born in London and came to Ireland circa 1769 to supervise the construction of the Custom House in Dublin.  He went on to design the Four Courts, Slane Castle, The Honourable Society of King’s Inn and The Royal Military Infirmary. Gandon was at the forefront of and is synonymous with Georgian era architecture in Dublin.

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