1837 Map Of Laois
Article

“A Tale of Two Counties”- Durrow Co. Laois

The name Durrow suggests an ancient wood or forest of Oak (Darú) which once encompassed this area in Co. Laois. A settlement sprung up here in the Early Medieval Period (400-1169 A.D) associated with an early church site attributed to St. Fintan Maeldubh (7th Century). This monastery is believed to have stood on the grounds of the present Protestant Church in the town until its ruins were knocked in 1731 (Carrigan 1905, vol. 2). There

Dysartgallen Church and Graveyard
Article

Dysartgallen Church and the Ford of the Cross

Dysartgallan Church (LA030-011001-) is set in the picturesque landscape of the Owenbeg River valley in south County Laois, approximately 3km northeast of Ballinakill village. The site is located within the townland of Aghnacross, civil parish of Dysartgallan or Ballinakill. The Church is located within 50 meters of the Owenbeg River and it would appear that a fording point existed where the current road bridge transverses this tributary of the Nore, hence the Irish name for

Kilbreedy Towerhouse
Article

Kilbreedy Towerhouse, Co. Laois

Situated approximately 3km NE of Rathdowney in south County Laois, we have a fine remnant of a rectangular plan Towerhouse located on slightly elevated ground with good views in all directions. The surrounding fertile lands and strategic location was no doubt a factor in the selection of the site for a fortified dwelling. Kilbreedy Towerhouse (LA028-046) is situated close to an esker formation which, in earlier times formed a natural routeway in a landscape predominated

Garron Castle from the northeast
Article

Garronmaconly Castle, Co. Laois

Garranmaconly Towerhouse Co. Laois (LA021-013001) located approximately 5km SW of Borris-in-Ossory. Garrán Mhic Connla in Irish translates to the “grove of the sons of Conla”, Connla being a name borne by several figures in Irish history and legend. Garran Castle is situated in what was a heavily fortified zone with a number of castles and fortified structures located in the immediate area. Originally the Castle was in the territory of Upper Ossory under the Earldom

Article

A Little History on the Old Fort Portlaoise

The Old Fort located within the centre of Portlaoise, from which the modern town has developed from was built by a new wave of English Settlers in 1547/48. It was one of two such forts built in counties Laois and Offaly, with the latter constructed at a pre-existing settlement at Daingean. A similair fort was also built at Leighlin Bridge on the Barrow in Co. Carlow. These forts were designed to hold a considerable garrison

Article

A Late Medieval Baptismal Font at Coolbanagher, Co. Laois

This exquisite Late Medieval baptismal font is housed in St. John’s Church of Ireland at Coolbanagher Co. Laois. The font predates the church by approximately 400 or more years. According to Roe (1947) the font had formed part of Lord Portarlington’s garden ornamentation at Emo Court before it was acquired by the rector of this church (Rev. Dudley Fletcher) in the 1930’s. Prior to this the general consensus is that the font belonged to the

Article

St. Fiacc and his monastery at Sleaty Co. Laois

Nestled on a low hillock approximately 500m west of the River Barrow, near Carlow Town, is the site of St. Fiacc’s monastery, in the townland of Sleaty, Sletty or Sleibtach (House near the mountains) County Laois. Fiacc was undoubtedly a highly influential figure during the period of transition from Paganism to Christianity on the island. He was born to a son of a Prince from the ancient kingdom of Hy-Bairrche, mainly located in the modern

Folklore

Aengus the Culdee a 9th Century Laois Saint

Aengus the Culdee or Aengus Céilí Dé (Aengus the servant of God), March 11th marks his death. Aengus lived, studied and died right here in Co. Laois. Aengus was quiet a remarkable figure within the Early Christian Church in Ireland. He was born sometime in the mid-8th century A.D the son of Oengobhan, a King from the Dalriada, an area which included lands in Ulster and Western Scotland. The Culdees were reputed to be a

Article

St. Fintan and his Monastery at Clonenagh

Along the main road between Mountrath and Portlaoise, the R445 pierces through the heart of what was once one of the most revered and influential monastic establishments of Ireland and indeed Europe during the Early Medieval period. The following attempts to address the influence that Clonenagh played from its humble origins in the mid-6th Century A.D, until its eventual decline with the arrival of the Anglo-Normans, up to the present day where it has continued