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Abbeyleix or Abbeylaois ( ) is a town in County Laoismarker, Irelandmarker about 14 km from Portlaoisemarker. It is located on the N8 National Primary Route. The town is a major bottleneck on this route, with up to 15,000 vehicles passing through the towns main street everyday. The town will be bypassed as part of the M8/M7 Portlaoise-Cullahill motorway which is currently under construction and due to open late 2010.

History

Abbeyleix was founded in the 18th century as a town by Viscount de Vesci and is situated near a 12th century Cistercian monastery beside the River Noremarker. 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 carpet factory - notably producing some of the carpets used on the RMS Titanicmarker.
Abbeyleix, Main St


There is a heritage house located in the old Patrician monastery schoolhouse which provides information on the towns history. Abbeyleix was made a Heritage town of Ireland several years ago.

Transport

Abbeyleix railway station opened on 1 March 1865, but finally closed on 1 January 1963.

Amenities

There is a district hospital in the town, and a number of shops and pubs. The Father Breen Park forms the nexus for a great many activities, providing fields for soccer, football and other sports, while the adjacent CYMS hall is home to numerous clubs, such as boxing and tae-kwon-do. The town boasts a newly built hotel - the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel. The hotel has recently extended to 46 bedrooms. A new state of the art conference centre is due open in early spring 2007.




Restoration of Market House (November 2007)
Plaque on Market House- Click to read


Buildings of note

  • Abbeyleix Market House is a 5 bay, 2 story building which was until 2005 used as a fire station and library. It has been renovated as a state of the art library/exhibition centre.
  • Open once annually to the public, for local charity, are the beautiful grounds of the old de Vesci estate.
  • Also of note are the heritage centre & the sensory gardens on Main Street.
  • The Abbeyleix South National School is a beautiful 19th century building.


Notable residents



Sport



See also



References



External links




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