Towns and Villages of Laois

Welcome to Co. Laois - the crossroads of Ireland - a gem set in the rural tranquillity of the Irish Midlands. This part of Ireland boasts some of the finest houses in the country as well as interesting places to visit. Laois, weathered by a turbulent past, rich in heroic mythology, crowned by the windswept Slieve Bloom Mountains, stretches in all its natural beauty across rivers, valleys and lush green countryside. A county of rich contrast, Laois is a place for people who want a different experience of Ireland. A meeting point for ancient heritage and contemporary culture, for rural tranquillity and busy towns and villages, for sophisticated luxury and rustic simplicity. Laois calls out to people who want to experience something real, something authentic, something truly out of the ordinary.

The story of Laois reveals itself quietly in its landscape. Its wild hills and river valleys bear the scars of a glorious and turbulent past, leaving behind over one thousand heritage sites and a tradition of rich mythology to be explored. Laois is a proudly independent county and its vein of defiance can be traced throughout its history. From two thousand years ago when Irish tribes battled on the Great Heath of Maryborough, to the 12th century when the Rock of Dunamase defended against fierce onslaughts by Norman invaders, to the 16th century when English settlers moved in. Laois has fought to retain its autonomy and its own individual culture.

Today, the echoes of the past call out to you at every turn. On this website you can explore examples of the county's numerous historical treasures located in Abbeyleix, Clonaslee, Durrow, Emo, Mountmellick, Mountrath, Portarlington, Portlaoise, Rathdowney and Stradbally. Many beautiful heritage sites have been restored for the public to enjoy such as Emo Court and Gardens and Timahoe Round Tower, while others, such as Castledurrow, have been sensitively restored. There is also an abundance of monuments to be visited that bear testament to the county's historical legacy. In more recent times, small museums and heritage centres have sprung up throughout the county. Often privately-run, these are an insight into an era through the eyes of passionate enthusiasts and should not be missed.

Irish History Live - The 'Museum' that Comes to You

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