Dunamase eller The Rock of Dunamase ( Irish : Dún MASC  “fortet MASC”) är en klippa i townland Park eller Dunamase i County Laois . Berget, 46 meter (151 fot) över en platt slätt, har ruinerna av Dunamase slott , en defensiv fäste anor från tidigt Hiberno-Norman period med utsikt över till Slieve Bloom bergen . Det är nära N80 vägen mellan städernaPortlaoise och Stradbally .
Archaeological excavations in the 1990s showed that the Rock first settled in the 9th century when an ancient fort or Dun was constructed on the site. The first known settlement on the mountain was Dun Masc Masc or Fort, an early Christian settlement was sacked in 842 by the Vikings. In 845 the Vikings in Dublin attacked the place and the abbot of Terryglass, Aed son of Dub dá Chrích, was killed there.  There is no clear evidence for the 10-11 century occupation.
The castle was built in the second half of the 12th century.
When the Normans arrived in Ireland in the late 12th century, became the most important Dunamase Hiberno-Norman fortification in Laois. It was Dunamase where Diarmuid MacMurrough, king of Leinster, took wife O’Rourke, King of Breifne after kidnapping her. Take the help of the O’Connor clan, the O’Connor and O’Rourke drove MacMurrough from Dunamase and he fled Irland.MacMurrough gave Dunamase and his daughter Aoife in marriage to Norman conqueror Strongbow in 1170 as part of a deal to enlist his help to regain their land. It is said that the first great Norman invasion of Ireland followed then when Strongbow together MacMurrough host of men, to attack and recover MacMurrogh chips.
Later, with the Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife daughter and heir, Isabel, passed the castle in the hands of the Marshal family. William Marshal, who later became the Regent of England in the minority of Henry III, had five sons, all of whom succeeded him in turn and died without problems. So in 1247 Marshal William lands were divided between five daughters. Dunamase fell to Eva Marshal, and then to his daughter, Maud, who was married to Roger Mortimer. The castle remained in Mortimer hands until 1330 when another Roger Mortimer was executed for treason. At the time the Mortimer family rehabilitated the castle seems to have gone out of the area under Norman control. It seems to have become a devastating scale of the 1350th
But by the 16th century was part of the land owned by O’More family, and it is so memorialised in a poem the 19th century, Transplanted , by William O’Neill:
But in vain I wait and listen for Rory Og’s death, and in the corridors of Dunamase a Saxon rules instead, and o’er his fruit acre stranger is now lord since Cuchorb a proud O’Moore kept the department.
After transplantation of O ‘More’ to Kerry, played his castle no part in the Cromwellian wars. The insulted 1650 to prevent its use. In the later 18th century, Sir John Parnell began building a banquet in ruins and this work included the medieval architectural details taken from other places in the area.
- Hodkinson, Brian (2003). “A summary of the recent work on the Rock of Dunamase, Co. Laois “. At Kenyon, John R.; O’Conor, Kieran. The medieval castle in Ireland and Wales. Dublin. Four Courts Press ISBN 9,781,851,827,268th
- Hodkinson, BJ (2003). “Sources for the history Dunamase castle”. Laois Heritage Society Journal (1).