Conservation is the key to the castle

Few castles in Ireland possess as majestic a defensive setting as that of Dunamase, a medieval stone fortress in Co Laois, about four miles outside Portlaoise. The fact that it stands high over the countryside in complete ruins does not detract from its rugged grandeur. Its decay enhances its allure. Dunamase is about as forceful a statement as could be made on the nature of power as something that endures but is also lost. Even in collapse, Dunamase on its limestone outcrop remains a romantic place, an extensive mosaic of stone walls and fragmented buildings dominated by the remains of a great central citadel at the rock’s summit.

The Irish Times