Emo Court is located in Emo in county Laois. It is a country villa designed, but not built by the famous architect James Gandon.  Gandon is best known for his great public buildings in Dublin which include The Custom House and The Four Courts. Gandon designed Emo Court in 1790 for John Dawson, the First Earl of Portarlington. The Earl died in 1798 and it took another 200 years and many different architects before Emo Court became the grand house that it is today. After the last of the Portarlingtons died in 1930 it was purchased  by The Jesuits who used it as a seminary. In 1969, the order sold Emo Court to a Mr Cholmeley-Harrison. With the advice of Sir Albert Richardson and Partners, he began the laborious process of realizing Gandon’s vision for Emo Court and its grounds. Today, the house, garden and park of Emo Court are owned and managed by the Office of Public Works.