Heritage Publications

A range of publications on the built, natural and cultural heritage of County Laois are available. Click on any of the titles below to download as pdf. We are still working on uploading archive files and reports to this page – please bear with us! If there is a report you want that’s not listed here, please email the Heritage Office.


Books and Leaflets on Laois Heritage


Gardening For Biodiversity Cover

This booklet by Juanita Browne with illustrations by Barry Reynolds aims to assist anyone who wants to help wildlife in their gardens, no matter how big or small. The booklet was produced by Laois County Council with the assistance of Local Authority Heritage Officers across Ireland, with support from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Heritage Council. Taking a very practical approach, the book details projects to help wildlife of all kinds under a range of headings, with tasks suitable for everyone from the total beginner to the more ambitious DIY enthusiast. With clear instructions and step-by-step drawings by illustrator Barry Reynolds, the guide offers the gardener lots of options to help our biodiversity.

Hard copies of the booklet are also available on request – email the Heritage Office

The Gardening for biodiversity colouring book is the children’s companion to the Gardening for Biodiversity booklet, with more beautiful illustrations from Barry Reynolds.


Gardening for biodiversity Irish version/Garraíodóireacht ar son na Bithéagsúlachta

Tá an leabhar “Garraíodóireacht ar son na Bithéagsúlachta” foilsithe i nGaeilge anois, le tacaíocht ón bPlean Gníomhaíochta Náisiúnta Bithéagsúlachta. Is féidir an leabhar a íoslódáil saor in aisce anseo agus beidh cóipeanna crua ar fáil go luath.




Heritage Guide to the Heath , published by Wordwell Books as part of their “Heritage Guide” series, in association with Archaeology Ireland. Written by local Archaeologist Dr Eoin Sullivan, this guide describes the Bronze Age landscape of the Heath, featuring wonderful reconstructions of Ring Barrows by Dave Pollock. Supported by the Heritage Council and Laois County Council. Download for free, or hard copies are available to purchase from Wordwell Books, cost €5.





Arnold Horner’s masterwork “Mapping Laois” is available from bookshops and online from the publisher Wordwell Books.

The book was supported by Laois County Council and the Heritage Council.






Geology of Laois and Offaly, by John Feehan, Offaly County Council, 2013. This book was supported by Laois and Offaly County Council and the Heritage Council.

Available from local bookshops or from Offaly History.






Saving Swifts

A new booklet with hints and tips on how to make our towns and villages more suitable for swifts, produced by Laois Heritage Office and BirdWatch Ireland, in partnership with the Heritage Officer Network and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Available to download here or to order in hard copy from Laois Heritage Office.






Book on Thatched houses in Laois

Download for free. Also available in hard copy, from Amazon or via Laois Heritage Office.






Book on the Mountmellick Canal

Download for free. Also available in hard copy, from Amazon or via Laois Heritage Office.





Laois Folk Tales, by Nuala Hayes, with original artwork by artist Rita Duffy.

Published by the History Press Ireland, with support from Laois County Council and the Heritage Council in 2015.

Available in bookshops or from the History Press.





Laois Garden Trail


Laois Garden Trail (English)

Also available in IrishFrench, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese .






Laois Heritage Trail

Also available in IrishFrenchGermanSpanishItalian, and Chinese




Cover of Portlaoise Heritage trail Booklet


Portlaoise Heritage Trail




Laois Heritage Plans



Laois Heritage Plan 2014 – 2019







Laois Heritage Plan 2007 – 2011







Laois Heritage Plan 2002 – 2006



Heritage Tourism Publications


Abbeyleix Heritage Town.

Also available in Irish, FrenchGerman, SpanishItalian and Chinese.





Donaghmore Workhouse and Agricultural Museum.

Also available in IrishFrenchGerman, SpanishItalian and Chinese





Timahoe Round Tower.

Also available in IrishFrenchGerman, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.





Rock of Dunamase





Heritage Week  2021


    Heritage Week 2021 Laois Event Guide

Portlaoise 2040 Public Realm Strategy

2040 A Portlaoise Vision – strategy for a new town centre

Laois Heritage Office Research and Reports

Natural Heritage

Laois Swift Survey

Audit of Geology in Laois, 2016, Part I Report

Audit of Geology in Laois, 2016, Part II Site Reports

Survey of bats in Laois County Council properties, 2008

Laois Bridges Bird Survey Report – FINAL, 2007

Survey of Bats in Bridges, Laois and Offaly 2007

Survey of Ecology and Industrial Heritage of the Mountmellick Canal 2006: Main Report and Appendices

Audit of Laois Natural Heritage Data 2006

Laois Hedgerow Report 2005

Esker Survey report 2005Appendices and Habitat Maps

Laois Habitats Surveys 2005- 2010:

Built Heritage

Dysartgallen Conservation Management Plan 2020

Timahoe Monastic Site Conservation Plan 2018

Fort Protector Conservation Plan

Old St Peter’s Graveyard Archaeological Report 2016

Abbeyleix Sustainable Communities Plan report 2011

Survey of Architecture in Portlaoise 2008, Part I Report

Laois Thatch Survey 2007 Vol I

Laois Bridges Survey 2007 Part I Final Report

Laois Bridges Survey Part 2 Vol I (site reports North Laois)

Laois Bridges Survey Part 2 Vol II (site reports South Laois)

Laois Mills Survey 2005. Part I: Report

Laois Mills Survey 2005. Part II: Site Inventory



Cultural Heritage

Laois Burial Ground Survey 2011, Part I Report

Laois Burial Ground Survey 2011, Part II Site Gazeteer

Built and Natural Heritage of the Mountmellick Canal Survey (2006)


For Schools and Children

Wild Things at School Workbook

Wild Things at School extra worksheets – English, Monaghan Co Co 2012

Wild Things at School extra worksheets – Gaeilge, Monaghan Co Co 2012

Some Other Books published on the Heritage Of Laois

Tapestry of Light, by Tina Claffey, Artisan House 2017. Available from local bookshops or Artisan House.

Laois, An Environmental History, by John Feehan, Ballykilcavan Press, 1983 (out of print – available in Laois Branch Libraries)

The Quiet County by Mike Rafter, 2nd edition 2016. Available from local bookshops.

Laois History and Society by Padraig G Lane & WIlliam Nolan. Geography Publications, 1999

The Landscape of Slieve Bloom by John Feehan (1979, reprinted 2010). Available locally or from Offaly History.

Read More News Stories