Dysartgallen (Laois)

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Gardens at Heywood designed by Edwin Lutyens
Gardens at Heywood designed by Edwin Lutyens

Heywood House & Garden

Heywood House was built in 1773, by Michael Frederick Trench, with the help of his friend, and renowned architect, James Gandon.

Trench’s wife Anna Helena, died in 1831, and he himself, in April 1836; the estate then passed to Frederich W. Trench. Frederich never married, and when he died, on 6th December 1859, so too did the Trench male line. Heywood Estate was then inherited by Compton W. Domville, who was married to Sarah Helena Trench.

On January 21st 1886, their daughter Mary Adelaide married W.H. Poe. They would subsequently have three children.

The commission to design the elaborate formal garden at Heywood, was given to Lutyens, by Colonel William Hutchinson Poe, in 1906.

The meticulous detail, and expertise that constitutes the realisation and construction of such an elaborately beautiful garden, is only truly appreciated when one considers the topographical problems Lutyens was presented with. Undaunted by what was referred to as a ‘difficult site’, Lutyens turned problems to his advantage; such as buttressing the south-west corner, with slabs of stone sourced from a nearby quarry. The end result is the Pergola, which still towers above the lake below, affording a view to challenge even that of the wonderful sunken garden.

Today Heywood Garden sits, as an orphan of the great estate house, it once flanked on three sides. On January 31st 1950, whilst being used as a seminary, of the Salesian Order, Heywood House was destroyed by fire, and was eventually demolished.

Beautiful though the garden may be in its solitude, we can only wonder as to its splendour, when viewed in unity with the house it was designed to complement.

Lutyens paid his last visit to Heywood in 1912, at which time he was involved in the planning of the new Indian capital at Delhi. New Delhi is also known as Lutyens’ Delhi, such was his contribution, to the design and construction of the city’s new quarter.

Some communities associated with this building

Some buildings associated with these communities