Heritage House is housed in the historic north boys’ school in Abbeyleix, and was opened in 1997 with a museum dedicated to local history and culture from Abbeyleix and County Laois. The museum at Heritage House will transport visitors back in time with stories from pre Christian times right up to the 20th century. Learn about the Abbeyleix Carpet Factory, where a number of hand tufted carpets were made for the state room for the Titanic, gain insight to the warring tribes of Laois. Visitors can learn about the Norman influence, the suppression of the monasteries at the hands of Henry VIII and progress through plantations, the influence of the landlords and Ireland’s brush with the industrial revolution.
The museum at Abbeyleix Heritage House, built in 1885, is located in the former Abbeyleix North National School. It is normally self-guided but we also offer a guided tour. Our local guides will give you a look at the history of the oldest planned estate town in Ireland, local carpet weaving as well as old Irish household items. You will see our model of the Rock of Dunamaise and Bog Butter display. Our Titanic exhibit will take you through the connection that was established with Abbeyleix when the local carpet factory supplied carpets to the ship. You will also learn about the De Vesci family and their importance in the area.