I have visited the Rock of Dunamase on a number of occasions over the last few years, each time has always been a pleasure. So on my recent trip around County Laois, I decided to have a look around its much over looked neighbour, The Holy Trinity Church. No it is not the usual ruin that I would normally explore, in fact it is not even a ruin, but considering its close proximity to The Rock I wanted to have a look around. The small granite church and graveyard which are both still in use today, was built back in 1845 after the church at nearby Dysart was destroyed by fire. It belongs to the Church of Ireland and was never consecrated until 1849, supposedly due to the famine. I always wondered, was there an older religious site here? Considering the historical significance of its neighbour this would be quite plausible, however I have not been able to find any records to suggest that there was anything here prior to 1845.
In 1909 the church was badly damaged after being struck by lightning. In 1948 a centenary service was held to mark its 100th year. Then in 1998 the church was visited by the president of Ireland Mary McAleese. The last major event here was in the year 2000, where the millennium celebration was marked with a tree planting ceremony in the graveyard. Whilst I was here, the church was not open so I was unable to see the inside which is said to have a number of really good stained glass windows. It is worth stopping of to check out if you’re in the area, even for the graveyard which contains a number of interesting headstones. And then you can also check out the Rock of Dunamase from which there are stunning views of the surrounding countryside and a fascinating history to explore.