Outdoor Staff at Emo Park


The demesne at Emo Park included not only the house and its formal pleasure gardens, but also the lake, woodlands, farmlands, orchard, hot-houses and vegetable gardens. A variety of animals were kept including cows, sheep, pigs, horses, rabbits, fowl and fallow deer, while the lake was originally well-stocked with fish and favoured by wild ducks. Crops such as barley, oats, wheat and hops were grown, along with a wide range of fruit and vegetables. The land also included many acres of bog as well as rich woodland which produced high quality timber. The outdoor staff were responsible for maintaining these aspects of the demesne as well as the upkeep of fences, paths and outbuildings, and the cutting of timber and turf.


While the indoor staff at Emo Court were predominately female, the outdoor staff were predominantly male. They included gardeners, gamekeepers, grooms, coachmen, stable-boys and a team of labourers and farmers. Above them was the agent or land steward, who oversaw the running of the estate, dealing with both demesne workers and tenants. The agent, head gardener, head gamekeeper and head coachmen were held in the highest esteem, as these were the outdoor staff with which the family had most contact. The 3rd and 5th Earls of Portarlington, for example, left money to each of these staff members in their wills.