The Entrance Facade
The Garden Facade from a circa 1920 postcard
The Garden Facade at sunset
The Garden Facade and the garden
The rear garden
Built / Designed For: Thomas Vesey, 1st Viscount de Vesci and 2nd Baron Knapton
House & Family History: Designed in 1773 by the noted English architect James Wyatt for Thomas Vesey, 1st Viscount de Vesci and 2nd Baron Knapton, Abbey Leix is one of the most important 18th century houses in Ireland. The house was built on a site originally occupied by French Cistercian monks, who settled on the banks of the River Nore in the 12th century. Between 1859 and 1860 the library, the conservatory, and terraces were added. At the same time the house was enclosed within an entrance court and the whole fitted out with a Victorian Italianate veneer. The Vesey family were here from 1675 until 1995, when the estate was sold to Sir David Davies, the banker son of a Welsh industrialist, who beautifully restored the house. In the summer of 2021 Sir David sold the house, together with 1,120 acres, for €20 million to Stripe founder John Collison.
Garden & Outbuildings: Abbey Leix has one of the most important collections of trees in Ireland, including some of the country’s most notable remaining ancient woodland. Spanning 1,100 acres today, the Abbey Leix Estate includes primeval forests of willow, alder, oak, and birch.
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Reference: pg. 1114
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Unknown
Park Listed: Unknown
Current Seat / Home of: John Collison; here since 2021.
Past Seat / Home of: Thomas Vesey, 1st Viscount de Vesci and 2nd Baron Knapton, early 18th century; John Vesey, 2nd Viscount de Vesci, 19th century; Vesci family here from 1675 until 1995. Sir David Davies, 1995-2021.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No