Self-Drive Tours

One Day Tour of County Laois

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Contact details

Address

Portlaioise Tourist Office, Portlaoise, Laois, Republic of Ireland
T: +353(0)578621178
E: Portlaoise@failteireland.ie

This tour starts in Borris in Ossory. Originally a cluster around the ruined fifteenth Century Fitzpatrick castle, the village grew along the eighteenth Century coach road and depended on the woolen trade. North of the village is Kyle or Cluain Ferta Molua, the site of a monastery, founded by Saint Lugaid or Molua who came from Limerick and died in 609. Borris in Ossory lies beneath the beautiful Slieve Bloom Mountains.

This tour starts in Borris in Ossory. Originally a cluster around the ruined fifteenth Century Fitzpatrick castle, the village grew along the eighteenth Century coach road and depended on the woolen trade. North of the village is Kyle or Cluain Ferta Molua, the site of a monastery, founded by Saint Lugaid or Molua who came from Limerick and died in 609. Borris in Ossory lies beneath the beautiful Slieve Bloom Mountains.

From Donaghmore travel to Rathdowney. Rathdowney takes its name from the rath, or ring fort, which until 1840, was at the end of the town square near the Church of Ireland church. It developed as a town in the early nineteenth Century, with brewing as the main industry until 1966. Rathdowney boasts a designer retails outlet.

From Rathdowney travel on to Ballacolla. This is a late eighteenth Century, well kept village, which grew on the crossing of two important county roads. It has access to the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

From Ballacolla travel on to Durrow. Durrow was originally a Norman borough town. In the seventeenth Century, the Ormonds made it part of Kilkenny. It was returned to County Laois in 1846 by act of parliament. Perhaps one of Durrow's finest features is the suite of buildings around the green under the gates and a battlemented wall which in turn encloses a tastefully designed modern primary school and the important castle ( 1713 -32 ), one of the last large pre-Palladian houses to be built in Ireland.

From Borris in Ossory continue straight to Ballybrophy and on to Donaghmore. Donaghmore was originally associated with an early medieval church and then with an early Norman fortification. It became an extensive industrial complex in the eighteenth and nineteenth Centuries. A short distance northwest is the headquarters of Donaghmore Co - Op, once a workhouse and now housing a museum which is opens to the public during the summer months.