Get to know Laois: Oughaval Wood
Oughaval Wood or Coill na Nuachabhála, meaning Wood of new settlement, is over 150 hectares. The Wood is situated on a ridge of Carboniferous Limestone. It forms part of the Natural Heritage Area (NHA) of Stradbally Hill. The wood was once part of the Cosby Estate. Evidence of this is apparent in the form of old estate stone walls that run through the property and a folly called Cobbler’s Castle.
This folly was constructed during the famine (1845-1848) on the site of a pre Christian castle. Also of interest is a mass rock nestled within the trees. Mass was conducted here in secret during Penal times (c1691-1727). A stone cross was erected in 1957. An altar and seating was erected here to mark the Millennium. Mass is celebrated here on occasion.