Rock of Dunamase, Portlaoise

4.7
#1 of 11 in Things to do in Portlaoise
Storm the castle at Rock of Dunamase, a fortress dating back to the 12th century and once pillaged by Vikings. The rock itself stands above a flat plain, which holds the castle ruins and offers picturesque views of the countryside. The structure has passed through many hands, including the Normans and local Irish lords, and local tradition says it was besieged and blown up by the Cromwellian generals in 1651. While there are no records of these events, it is probably the best explanation for the ruins you can explore today. Take care when navigating the castle, as some parts can be dangerous. Add Rock of Dunamase to your Portlaoise travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Portlaoise trip planning tool .
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Rock of Dunamase Reviews
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342 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This spot is stunning - the views are incredible and the history is palpable. We went at sunset and it was beautiful and peaceful.  more »
  • This ruined castle is a fantastic spot to visit, with amazing views of the surrounding areas and make for a wonderful set of ruins to explore. It could do with a bit more information - there is just o...  more »
  • As you walk around this ruin, you can just imagine what it looked like in all its glory. Build on top of a high rock with only one side easily acessible, at one time it must have been easy to defend. ...  more »
Google
  • We were here at the end of September in 2017. It was a little wet so we pretty much had the place to ourselves! Wonderful place to explore....and it is free! The views from the Rock are just beautiful!
  • Very beautiful surprise find. We went in the late afternoon and had the site all to ourselves. Park at the church. Easy walk up to the top of the ruins. Beautiful 360 views.
  • In route from Dublin to Cork and needing a break from driving on the “wrong” side of the road we found ourselves at the Rock of Dunamase. This unplanned side trip proved to be one of my family’s favorite places in the whole of Ireland. Just a stone’s throw from the M7, the Rock of Dunamase is a ruined 12th century castle on top of a 150 foot plateau. The castle is pretty from bottom of the rock but the easy hike to the top will reward you with 360 degree views of the area and free range to explore the castle without throngs of people. We enjoyed the Rock of Dunamase more than the Rock Cashel because we had the place to ourselves on a gorgeous April afternoon.
  • This is a brilliant ruin not far off the M7 so if you are making your way across Ireland you can take a very short detour go up some country roads and find a real gem. You can climb all over the ruins and there is some fascinating history to go with it. If you google "rock of dunamase audio guide" you can download a free audio guide and listen to the history of the place as you go around. Take your time, soak up the views and enjoy being able to get up close to some history as well as exploring it in a way you can't normally.
  • Loved walking around the remaining castle structure. The hill top was gorgeous and great for an afternoon walk.

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