Historic Buildings of County Laois (Queens)
Republic of Ireland
Image right - Ballydams Castle
If you have information about any of the Buildings mentioned below please share it here. If you have ancestors linked to any of the places please add them to the project.
The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in County Laois, with links to sub-projects for specific buildings as appropriate. GENi profiles of people associated with those establishments can be linked to this project and/or to individual projects where they have been set up.
Castles, Baronial and Historic houses
... in alphabetical order
Including Castles, Abbeys, Manor Houses, Mansions, Stately Homes, Country houses, Estate houses, Courts, Halls, Parks and other listed buildings of historic interest
Full sizes of the thumbnail images can be seen in the Gallery attached to the project or by clicking the thumbnail image. TIP - Use ctrl+the link to open the image in a separate tab, or use "back" to return to this project page) Sources for the images can be found in the image details as seen in the gallery.
Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Other links take you to external biographical web pages. Please copy and paste the bullet used - ● - instead of * when adding items to the list.
● Ballyadams Castle, Ruins
● Bellegrove House.(notes from 'Abandoned Houses of Ireland,byTarquin Blake).Built 1835 by George Adair, descended from Thomas, 6th.Earl of Desmond. Earl married dau. of William McCormic - not approved by family - forced to resign title and estates to younger brother. In 1420, died of grief. King of England attended funeral. House went to Adair children -1800, George Adair owned many lands. Died 1873, leaving large fortune - wife Cornelia, American, very wealthy, glorified Bellegrove House, and others. John G.Adair evicted all tenants at Donegal Castle, Derryveagle, 1861. (244 people made homeless) She died 1885. She had a rock-carved with face of Adair carved in his honour - it was struck by lightening and broke into many pieces, falling into the lake. House had Italianate facade. it was destroyed by accidental fire in 1887
○ "The Adairs of Rath claimed descent from Col. Sir Robert Adair (1659-1745), knighted by King William III at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, whose ancestors were the Adairs of Kinhilt (q.v.) in Wigtownshire. Thomas Adair of Clonterry (Leix) died in 1758, and his grandson John (c1731-1809) was apparently the first to settle at Rath (also known as Rathdaire), near Ballybrittas (Leix). His son George (b. 1784) built a new house on the estate about 1835, which became known as Bellegrove (occasionally Belgrove). "
● Ballyfin (notes from Irish Houses & Gardens, Archives, Country Life).'Classical' House - complex history.(family: Wellesley-Pole). 1923, sold to Land Commission. Became a school.
● Castlecuffe, 17th Century fortified house, the chimney stacks rising almost 50 feet above farmland. The land on which it stands originally belonged to the O'Dunnes, but the Coote family became the owners in 1560, and it was Sir Charles Coote,1st Baronet Coote of Castle Cuffe who built the present building. His wife was Dorothea Cuffe from Cork after whom the castle was named.
● Clonreher lies just to the north of Port Laoise in a farmyard; four storey tower contains a hall over a vaulted cellar and loft. Granted to John Dunkirley in 1550; former O'Dowling castle was later held by the Hartpoles.
● Coolbanagher, - a four storey tower within the grounds of a private house. The southern facade fell to the ground during storm Darwin in early February 2014, and was subsequently demolished on Monday 24th Feb.
● Cullahill Castle, Ruins
● Dunamase - gatehouse. Erected on a an early Christian site on a rock overlooking Portlaoise. Was for a time the site of a fortress belonging to the kings of Leinster, which is how it became the possession of Strongbow who had married Aiofa daughter of King Diarmait. In King John's reign it was granted to William Marshall. It was taken and held by the O'Neills during the Cond=federate war and then slighted by Cromwell's forces in 1650
● Gortnaclea Castle, Ruins. Stands on the edge of the Gully River which separates the edge of Ossory from Laois. The earliest mentioned occupant was Donal Fitzpatrick who received a pardon 30 June 1556, a younger brother of Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron of Upper Ossory and later Florence Fitzpatrick, 3rd Baron of Upper Ossory. The Black Earl of Ormond was taken prisoner by Owney O’Moore on 10 April 1600 at Corrondogh near Ballyragget. The O’Moores did not have a strong enough castle and he was conveyed to the Fitzpatrick castle as the Fitzpatricks and O’Moores were allies at that time. Owney O’Moore later was nervous about this location and moved him to the woods of Laois before eventually moving the prisoner to Dempsey’s Castle at Ballybrittas. The Black Earl of Ormond was eventually released on 12 June 1600 for £5,000.
● Grantstown, 16th century five storey circular tower is to the west of Ballycolla, in a field just southwest of Grantstown Lough. It was built by a lord of Upper Ossory, and in 1653 held by Gilbert Rawson. By 1696 it had been granted by William III to Richard and Edward Fitzpatrick. At the wallwalk level there are two surviving machicolations.
● Heywood. (now demolished).
● Killeshin Castle near Leighlin - motte castle of 1181 mentioned by Giraldus Cambrensis
● Knocknatrina House, the seat of the Flower family of Durrow, is a mid-C19 neo-Jacobean mansion that now lies in ruins. Built for Robert Flower, 8th Viscount Ashbrook who was in occupation from 1869 it managed to survive both the War of Independence and the Civil War that followed. It lingered on virtually intact under various owners until 1958 when it was stripped for its value as architectural salvage.
● Lavagh Castle motte castle
● Lea Castle - began as on oval motte with two bailleys, built by William Marshal (Notes from "Abandoned Mansions of Ireland, by Tarquin Blake) p.186. "Anglo-Norman.12thC,-scene of constant warfare for four and a half centuries- O'More burned the castle, 1346. O'Dempsey captured it from the Earl of Kildare, 1452. The Earl regained it 1555. 1556, it was mortgaged to Sir Maurice Fitzgerald of Lackaugh...."
● Morett Castle -castle ruin of Morett lying within the grounds of a private house. Just the SW corner and east wall the remains - FitzGerald. Built on a rock outcrop base in c.1580 its surviving east wall stands complete, with fireplaces on the lower three of its four storeys, and another in the attic of the roof. The lowest fireplace has an oven adjoining it.
● Reban motte castle mentioned in a charter of c.1200
● Rock of Dunamase, Ruins
● Shrule Castle, Ruins - late 16th century tower built by Robert Hartpole is on farmland off a minor road north from Carlow near to the Grand Canal. A date of 1640 high up on the south wall with the initials 'RHK' may refer to the date when the castle was subdivided by a crosswall to carry two vaults.
● Stradbally Hall owned by the Cosby family. During the English colonial plantations of Laois and Offaly, Elizabeth I of England took possession of the Franciscan religious house in Stradbally, which she then gave to Francis Cosby.
● Sheffield House for many years the seat of the Cassan family but is now a ruin.
● Timahoe - motte of 1182 listed by Giraldus Cambrensis
● Tullomoy, four storey early 17th century fortified house of Billy George is on farmland just off the N80 between Port Laoise and Carlow. The upper windows were once of three lights with hoodmoulds, and there are fireplaces on all the upper levels of the south and west walls.
References and Sources
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Other Pages for Historic Buildings of Ireland Counties
Historic Buildings of Co. Kilkenny
Historic Buildings of County Tipperary
this project is in History Link