The Rock of Dunamase, a dramatic stronghold in Co Laois. Earliest use as a fort has been identified as the ninth century, but this appears late for such a . It was part of Aoife's dowry to Strongbow in 1170 and was quickly turned into a Norman stronghold. By 1350 it was outside the area of English control and ruinous. It was then restored as the stronghold of the O'More family and used by them until the resurgence of English power in the seventeenth century. It appears to have been restored in the Cromwellian period and then deliberately damaged to ensure that it would not be used by others.It has been quietly falling into ruin ever since.