Naas, the county town, is on the main road from Dublin to Cork, Limerick and Waterford. Naas is a cosmopolitan town of approximately 16,000 inhabitants.
Naas is a situated near 3 racecourses at Punchestown, The Curragh and Naas. Punchestown hosts the Heineken International Three Day Eventing Championship and the Punchestown National Hunt Festival which is the fastest growing sporting and social event in Ireland.
In annuals and records the name of Naas appears in three forms:
- An Nás, meaning "The Place of Assembly"
- Nas Laighean meaning "The Place of The Leinstermen"
- Nás na Riogh meaning "The Place of Assembly of the Kings"
In early times it was the seat of the kings of Leinster, and the North Mote is the site of the ancient royal palace. Saint Patrick visited here and is said to have camped on the site of the present Protestant parish church. The town was fortified by the Normans and pundered in 1316 by Robert and Edward Bruce. A Norman castle, once part of the towns fortifications, has been converted into the modern Church of Ireland rectory. The last King of Naas to be recognised as King of Leinster was Cearbhall who died in 989 AD.
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