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Rock of Dunamase County Laois.

Rock of Dunamase.

(Fort of Mase.)

Situated between the towns of Heath and Stradbally, on top of a limestone plateau with a panoramic views across the surrounding counties, the Rock of Dunamase is one of the most breathtaking historical sites in Ireland. The original castle here was the fortress of the ancient kings of Leinster. Strongbow inherited it from his father in law king Dermot MacMurrough, he in turn passing it on to his son in law William Marshall. The present ruins probably date from the mid thirteenth century. The castle was taken by the Cromwellian general's John Hewson and Sir John Reynolds in 1651.

The keep is rectangular standing on the highest part of the rock, it lies within a courtyard entered through a gatehouse. East of this is yet another courtyard and gatehouse. Further to the east again is a D shaped bailey.

See Dermot MacMurrough also Strongbow.