Rock of Dunamaise
Just 7 miles from Maldron Hotel Portlaoise, the Rock of Dunamaise is one of the greatest monuments and fortresses in Ireland towers over the Portlaoise / Stradbally Road, offering breath-taking views of the county. Located just outside Portaoise on the N80 Stradbally Road, the Rock of Dunamaise is an impressive Irish historical site. There is evidence from early excavations in the 90’s that this site was first settled in the 9th century. The ruins today are those of a castle begun in the latter half of the 12th century but it is not clear who built it. Some people attribute the building to Strongbow who was heir to Diarmuid Mcmorrow who ruled in Leinster at that time. What is clear is that the castle was owned by the Marshal family and later the Mortimer family before falling into ruin around 1350.
The Rock of Dunamaise is a sight not to be missed by visitors in Laois. Standing 46m tall, it provides breathtaking views across the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Access is free, open all year round and the climb to the summit is not that hard. Stunning views of the surrounding countryside make the towering Rock of Dunamaise a strategic place to build a fortress.