Completed in 1912, the area formally known as Heywood Estate just outside Ballinakill consists of gardens, lakes, woodland and architectural features. It was transferred to State ownership in November 1993 from the Salesian Fathers who had taken care of it since 1941. The formal Gardens form the centre-piece of the property and were designed by the famous architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) and probably landscaped by Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). It is one of four Gardens in this country designed by him, the others being in the War Memorial Park, Lambay Island and Howth Castle. The Gardens are composed of four elements linked by a terrace that ran along the front of the house which now no longer exists. This is a little known midlands gem and there are images of the what used to be Haywood House on the grounds, it must have been some pile! I believe it was destroyed by fire sometime in the 1950s and subsequently demolished in much the same circumstances as Rockingham House at Lough Key in my native Boyle.
The Petrol Station at Ballinakill, Co. Laois.
Photos: Lumix LX5