Rockview Walkways is part of an ongoing project of Laois Friends (Laois Friends, Special Needs, Social and Recreational Committee). Laois Friends strive to be an advocate body and also create social and recreational opportunities for people with special needs, their families and friends.
Rockview Walkways, Cashel/Pass, Co. Laois are in a 20 acre (8.1 ha) high nature-value woodland. The woodland was established in Spring 2008, under FEPS (The Forestry Environmental Protective Scheme). Tree Species (75% native) include Oak, Ash, Rowan, Scots Pine, Hazel, Holly, Birch, Crab Apple and Norway Spruce. The Hedgerows contain Whitethorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Dog Rose, Guelder Rose, Spindle and Holly. There are eight bird nesting boxes and deadwood in two locations in the wood encourage invertebrate species. Another special feature of Rockview Walkways is the existence of a winding stream, of clear spring water.
Rockview walkways began here in 2010 when Minister John Maloney performed the official opening. Set in woodland providing a natural home to many species of birds and other wildlife, the walkway is further enhanced with the sound of rippling water from the stream that runs through. Down from the Cullenagh mountains, it is the beginning of the Triogue and in times gone by, the river was diverted at the entrance to Rockview to drive the mill at Lalor's Mill.
The walks appeal to nature and walking enthusiasts alike. The sensory garden and horticultural area are also open. This project has been made possible by Laois Partnership, the HSE, the Forest Service, Penhouse for our logo, Laois Down Syndrome Association, Laois Offaly Families for Autism and the local community who have been so generous with donations and giving their time on a voluntary basis.
Garden/ Horticultural Area Before Development - Click to enlarge
Garden/ Horticultural Area After Development - Click to enlarge
On the 17th may 1599 the Battle of the Pass of the Plumes occured. When Owen O'Moore and his men attacked the forces of the Earl of Essex, 500 of the Essexes' men are related to have died. Rockview Walkways stand to day right in the middle of the battlefield.
At the entrance to Rockview, the river was diverted to drive the mill at Lalor's Mills.
Rockview is overlooked by the Rock of Cashel. Laois County Council started extracting stone here in 1906. First to build the road from Portlaoise to Abbeyleix, it continued in operation until the early 1950's.
Pass House, home to Canon O'Hanlon in the 1930's stands close to Rockview.