Site of some of the last surviving vestiges of Ireland’s primeval forests and home to the oldest oak tree on the island, Abbey Leix was settled by Cistercian monks in the late twelfth century. It was subsequently acquired by the Vesey, later de Vesci, family, who commissioned the young James Wyatt to design the mansion at its centre and who cared for Abbey Leix for almost three centuries. More recently it has become home to Welsh businessman Sir David Davies, President of the Irish Georgian Society and President of Wexford Festival Opera, who embarked on a comprehensive restoration project. The book celebrates the beauties of the landscape and gardens of Abbey Leix, it traces the different phases of its building, through unpublished drawings by James and Thomas Henry Wyatt, and chronicles the many individuals who have shaped Abbey Leix over the centuries.
‘Splendid’ (John Martin Robinson, The Spectator)
‘Magnificent’ (Arminta Wallace, Irish Times)