Abbeyleix is a town in County Laois, Ireland about 14 km (9 mi) from Portlaoise and located on the N77 national secondary route. Formerly the N8 National Primary Route ran through the centre of the town, making Abbeyleix an infamous bottleneck on the Dublin-Cork corridor with up to 15,000 vehicles passing through the main street everyday. However, the town was bypassed by the M8 motorway on 28 May, 2010.
Abbeyleix was founded in the 18th century as a town by Viscount de Vesci and is situated near a 12th century Cistercian monastery beside the River Nore. Today, there is a large range of historical structures still standing in and around the small village - ancient ring forts, burial grounds, early monastic buildings, Norman and mediaeval castles, churches and colonial estate houses. The town once had a carpet factory - notably producing some of the carpets used on the RMS Titanic.
Access to the M8 motorway to Cork is provided via the R433 road, while the N77 links the town with the Dublin-Limerick M7 and to Kilkenny. Abbeyleix railway station opened on 1 March 1865, but finally closed on 1 January 1963.
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