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In Pictures: Smiles all around as Laois PPN members enjoy trip to Heywood Gardens

Laois PPN recently held a ‘Heritage Walk at Heywood Gardens’ in partnership with Laois Heritage.

Attendees got to explore and learn about one of the most beautiful heritage sites in Laois – Heywood Gardens.

Heywood Gardens, near Ballinakill, consists of 50 acres of woodland, lakes, formal gardens and some exciting architectural features.

The park is set into a sweeping hillside where views to the south-east take in seven counties.

The renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the formal gardens, which are the centerpiece of the property and the focus of the days Heritage walk.

They were landscaped by eminent designer Gertrude Jekyll and are among the best surviving example of Lutyens’ work in Ireland.

The gardens were commissioned by Colonel William Hutchinson Poe.

The Heritage Walk at Heywood Gardens was led by a descendant of Sir Edwin Lutyens, his great, great, niece, Amanda Pitcairn.

Amanda is a Historian and Tour Guide. Amanda gave an insight into the life and work of Sir Edwin Lutyens who she referred to with affection as “Uncle Ned”.

Amanda started the tour in on the path above the lawn where she spoke about “Uncle Ned”, his origins, life and influences and how he came to collaborate with Gertrude Jekyll and their shared philosophy. Amanda then spoke about Poe, his family and how the garden began.

Dan Bergin, Laois PPN Resource Worker, said: “Heywood Gardens is a unique and special place.

“It is part of the Laois Heritage Trail and the Laois Garden Trail.

“Heywood Gardens known locally as the Italian Gardens is a popular walking spot for locals, a photographers paradise and a tourist destination in Laois.”

Amanda Pitcairn said: “It was a fabulous afternoon to show off Sir Edwin Lutyens’ Italian Gardens at Heywood to PPN Member Groups followed by tea and cake at the Heywood Haven.”

Photographer Michael Scully was there on the day to capture some lovely images.

Check them out below:

Isabelle and Oliver Treacy, The Heath Photo: Michael Scully.
Dan Bergin ( Laois PPN), Trudy Killeen., Nian and Ronan O’Reilly
Amanda Pitcairn chatting with Dan Bergin
Dan Bergin, Trudy Killeen, Nian and Ronan O’Reilly

Aoibh O’Neill, Crettyard, and Amanda Pitcairn.

Betty Whelan and Mary White

Trudy Carmody and Amanda Pitcairn
Maureen Culliton, Marie Walsh and Ann Sands
Dan Bergin, Trudy Carmody and Amanda Pitcairn
Rachel and Sally O’Neill, Crettyard

Marie Walsh, Maureen Culliton, Ann Sands, Ann Dowling and Fiona Lynch

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.