Durrow Heritage Walking Tour is a 1.2 mile loop trail located near Durrow, Laois, Ireland. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking and walking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The village of Durrow is small, but perfectly formed with a rich history and an active community keen to ensure you enjoy your time here. This heritage tour starts at Castle Durrow and takes you past a very special organ, the Square, the old bridge, the vintage bicycle museum, the mills memorial, the unique Fawlty's pub, the 'magical' water pump, Tae Lane and Chapel street before returning back to the castle. The earliest record of Durrow dates back to 546A.D. when the village - then called Dervagh, was the site of a monastery, founded by St. Columb. The earliest recorded church in the village was in 1155 when records show that a raiding party led by O'Loughlin burned the church at Darmhagh-Ua-nDuach (Durrow in Odagh, or Castle Durrow) to the ground. By the mid-13th Century an urban tradition had been established as Durrow (then called Deverald) became a Norman Borough Village and was granted an urban constitution to attract settlers. In 1245, the village was given the right to hold a week long fair in the third week of July and a market every Thursday. Parish maps show that in the mid 17th Century, Durrow was a parochial hamlet with eight 'surrounds' and was owned by the powerful Ormondes. By 1659 a total of 105 families lived in the area. Sir William Petty's 1685 Map shows that there was both a Catholic and Protestant Church in the village. The Catholic Church - which probably consisted of mud walls with a thatched roof, stood on the site of, or close to, the old Courthouse (now a library and cultural centre). Under the Ormonde Family, Durrow was annexed to County Kilkenny and was only returned to County Laois in 1846 by an Act of Parliament. The physical form of the village as seen today, largely results from the great influence of Viscount of Ashbrook, William Flower, M.P. for Portarlington and local landlord who, throughout the 18th Century oversaw the construction of a planned estate village. Durrow's present form is indebted to the Flower Family, Viscounts Ashbrook, who gained ownership of the town in the early 1700s. They built Castle Durrow and granted permits for many of the fine Georgian and Victorian houses that still line Durrow's streets. Over the next two centuries, Durrow prospered. Stagecoaches rattled over the old bridge and stopped at the nearby coach house, the Ashbrook Arms. In its heyday, the village had its own brewery, a flour mill, a malting enterprise and a factory that made high quality bricks and tiles. We'll tell you more about these as you walk along. In recent years the local community has worked hard to preserve Durrow's beautiful setting, as well as its architecture. See for yourself on this leisurely stroll down Durrow's fine streets.