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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Laois County
Laois is located in the midlands of Ireland. It is and inland county and is bordered by many counties. These include Kilkenny, Offaly, Carlow, Kildare and Tipperary. The county has some amazing scenery and most of the county can be seen from the Slieve Bloom Mountains that lie to the north of the county. To east the Grand Canal flows through the county. As well as that the River Barrow flows through the county to the west of the county. The south of the county is where the lowlands are and are mainly worked on by the farmers of Laois. The landscape of Laois is beautiful and when looking from one of the mountain ranges you can clearly get the true feeling for it. Laois has many attractions and history represented to it. Laois has many things to do including walking in the woods, or along the River Barrow. A visit to the local towns of Portlaoise or Portdarlington is well worth it if you have the time and enjoy the local culture of Ireland.

Shired in 1556 by Queen Mary as Queen's County, Laois received its present Irish language name following the Irish War of Independence. Laois was also sometimes spelt "Leix". Portlaoise (previously Maryborough) is the county town. Laois was the subject of two Plantations or colonisations by English settlers. The first occurred in 1556, when the Earl of Sussex dispossessed the O'Moore clan from the area and attempted to replace them with English settlers. However, this only led to a long drawn out guerilla war in the county and left a small English community clustered around garrisons. There was a more successful plantation in the county in 17th century, which expanded the existing English settlement with more landowners and tenants from England. Neither plantation was fully successful due to a lack of tenants and because of continuous raids and attacks by the O' Moores.

Finally, the county became home to a community of French Huguenots in the 1690s, who were settled in Ireland after their service to William of Orange in the Williamite war in Ireland. In addition to this, large numbers of Quakers settled in Mountmellick and developed the area.

Despite the change of name in 1922, on a sale of land in the county the relevant title deeds are still updated as being in Queen's County.

The county is landlocked and, uniquely amongst Irish counties it does not border any other counties with a sea coast. It is therefore considered to be "the most landlocked county in Ireland

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Laois County
Place: Leinister
People: 69,012
Speak: English, Irish
Area: 1,719 km2
GPS: -7.4, 53