Durrow was originally a Norman borough town. In the seventeenth-century the Ormonds made it part of Kilkenny. It was returned to County Laois in 1846 by Act of Parliament. Perhaps one of Durrows finest features is the suite of buildings around the Green under the gates and battlemented wall which in turn enclose a tastefully designed modern primary school and the important 'castle' (1713-32), one of the last large pre-Palladian houses to be built in Ireland, and which was designed by its owner William Flower. Portlaoise was returned to the county in 1846 by Act of Parliament. It is a planned estate village, developed under the patronage of the Viscounts Ashbrook.


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