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
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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

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

Galesquarter Sheela-na-Gig

This Sheela-na-Gig is located on the south end of the east wall of the great Mac Gilla Padraig Castle at Cullahill Co. Laois. There are at least seven recorded Sheela’s from the county of which only three can be traced today. Sheela-na-Gigs are often found on old monastic buildings throughout the country as well as at some castle sites. In general the Sheela’s are carved in relief holding their genitalia, this theme is evident from

Article

Bowen Effigy Tomb, Ballyadams

The effigy tomb of Robert Bowen and his wife Alice Harpole which was erected in 1631 by their sons Oliver and Thomas. Robert Bowen was the son of John Bowen known as John Thomas Owen a Welsh settler who arrived in Laois during the plantation times in the Elizabethan Era. John obtained a lease on the former O’More stronghold at Ballyadams Castle for his services to the crown and died in 1569. He was regarded