Historic Buildings of County Carlow
Republic of Ireland
Image right - Ducketts' Grove
If you have information about any of the Buildings mentioned below please share it here. If you have ancestors linked to any of the places please add them to the project.
The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in County Carlow, with links to sub-projects for specific buildings as appropriate. GENi profiles of people associated with those establishments can be linked to this project and/or to individual projects where they have been set up.
Castles, Baronial and Historic houses
... in alphabetical order
Including Castles, Abbeys, Manor Houses, Mansions, Stately Homes, Country houses, Estate houses, Courts, Halls, Parks and other listed buildings of historic interest
Full sizes of the thumbnail images can be seen in the Gallery attached to the project or by clicking the thumbnail image. TIP - Use ctrl+the link to open the image in a separate tab, or use "back" to return to this project page) Sources for the images can be found in the image details as seen in the gallery.
Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Other links take you to external biographical web pages. Please copy and paste the bullet used - ● - instead of * when adding items to the list.
● Ballydarton House nr. Leighlinbridge. Associated family Watson. Early to min-19th century (1830's) Gothic House, designed by renowned architect Daniel Robertson, by Samuel Watson for his son Samuel (1715-1784). The Watson Family were known for their keen horsemanship, killing the last wolf in Ireland and writing the rules for Horse Polo as it is played today.. The home of Robert Watson the last of the family who died in 1906. Following the death of his widow, the house passed to a relative Mrs Gaussen, whose sons were killed in the First World War. (See CWGC where only 4 people are recorded by this name - CJB). Following her death the house was purchased by Captain Thomas in the 1940’s. The house then had a number of owners until purchased by a German National in the early 1960’s who never resided at Ballydarton, having fled East Germany at the end of the Second World War, and lived in Western Germany. He purchased Ballydarton as he felt Ireland would be one of the safer countries in which to reside should Europe go to war again. The Smyth family purchased the house from him in 1969 and they have resided there for around the last 50 years. Today houses Smyth & O’Reilly, a leading Artisan Irish Distillery, specialising in Gin products.
● Ballyloughan Castle located near Ballymoon Castle. 13th century castle protected by a well preserved gatehouse with a tower to its left and another to its northeast. The castle would have been protected by a large fortified wall and there is evidence that a moat would have surrounded this. The tower to the left of the gatehouse would have at one time served as the great hall, which can be evidenced by the ornate fireplace and windows. Little is known about the castle’s origins, however during the 13th century the Kavanagh family controlled most of this area of Carlow, and we know that it was occupied by a Donagh Kavanagh at the end of the 1500s. Beside the castle stands the ruins of a 17th century mansion house, perhaps built by the Bagenal family who became the proprietors of the land after the Restoration. The house was subsequently owned by the Breuns in the early 19th century. See Visions of the Past with many images
● Ballymoon Castle National Monument situated 2 miles (3 km) east of Muine Bheag (Bagenalstown), County Carlow, thought to date from the 13th century. Thought to have been built by either Roger Bigod or the Carew family, who acquired the land from the Bigods Earls of Norfolk. In the late 1800s the castle was bought by Michael Sheill from Wexford who established a number of local businesses.The castle is now in ruins and consists of a square courtyard about 80 feet on each side, with 20 foot high granite walls that are about 8 feet wide at the base. The inside of the castle is open, but the walls show where the doors and fireplaces were positioned. The large double fireplace on the north side was part of the great hall. There are no traces of the interior structure of the castle apart from the foundations, and this has led to speculation that the castle was never completed. The wall on the western side has an arched gateway. Portcullis grooves can be seen on the gateway, and there may have been a barbican in front. A number of cross shaped gun loops and arrow slits can be seen in the castle walls. See Visions of the Past with numerous images.
~・See Visions of the Past with many images
● Borris House built in 1731 by Morgan Kavanagh, a descendant of the former Kings of Leinster. The Kavanagh family descended from Dermot MacMorrough, whose daughter Aoife married Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, otherwise known as Stongbow, at the beginning of the Norman invasion. Thomas (The MacMurrough) Kavanagh, of Borris' engaged Sir Richard Morrisson and his son, William Vitruvius, to restore and enlarge the building after the 17th Century house was damaged in the 1789 rebellion. Thomas Kavanagh’s sister in law was Eleanor Butler, who was sent to stay at Borris to keep her out of harm’s way. In 1778 she escaped with Sarah Ponsonby. Together they became famous as the Ladies of Llangollen. Borris House has remained in the ownership of the Kavanagh family ever since and it was built. See Irish Historic Houses Association
● Carlow Castle probably built between 1207 and 1213 by William Marshall, 2nd Earl of Pembroke ( Lord of Leinster between 1207 and 1213) in the early part of the 13th century. Ruins - only the western wall and two towers now survive. The Castle stayed in the ownership of the Earls of Norfolk from 1306 to 1537 and was attacked on many occasions. In 1382 it was attacked during a raid on the town by the MacMurroughs and O’Carrolls, the residents of Carlow petitioned Kind Richard for funds to rebuild the town, however their plea was ignored and the exchequer was moved back to Dublin. The town and castle was granted to Donogh O’Brien (Earl of Thomond) in 1616, the castle then changed hands many times over the next 50 years. In 1642 the Duke of Ormond’s army attacked the castle to rescue 500 Englishmen who were imprisoned within its walls. In 1650 when Cromwell attacked the castle, badly damaging it. It remained in a reasonable state until 1814 when a Dr. Middleton tried to convert it into a lunatic asylum, undermining the foundations of the Castle through the use of explosives, destroying all but what remains visible today. It is located on the banks of the River Barrow near Carlow town centre. The castle is now the imposing centrepiece of a major urban renewal programme. See Visions of the Past numerous images. Also Ireland Genealogical Projects for full history and more images.
● Carlow Courthouse situated at the end of Dublin Street, designed by William Vitruvius Morrison in 1830 and completed in 1834. It is built of Carlow granite and gives the impression of being a temple set on a high plinth. The basement contains cells and dungeons. A cannon from the Crimean War stands on the steps
● Castletown Castle/House - Bunclody Road, Carlow - A small 19th Tudor/Gothic house incorporating a truncated tower-house which was greatly altered by William Roberston in 1835. Now a fine neo-gothic castle with beautifully cut ashlar granite featuring the usual ornate Robertson hallmarks. The original castle had several owners including the Kavanaghs, Bagenals, George Carew and the Earl of Kildare. Its owner for a short period in the I780's was the wayward Thomas "Buck" Whaley, who squandered a fortune of £60,000 and estates in three counties before he died, almost penniless, in 1800, aged 34. Castletown has been owned by the Monahan family since 1932.
● Clogrennane Castle built by Sir. Edmond Butler (who had joined the great Earl of Desmond in his revolt). Derelict buildings surveyed in 1911, major part of which collapsed or were demolished in 1931. Original castle probably substantially rebuilt after Carew's seige of 1569.
● Clonmore Castle thought to have been built during the late 13th century. The first recorded mention of Clonmore was in 1332 when Anthony DeLacy carried out repairs to the castle. The castle would have originally been square in plan, with towers or turrets at each corner and would have housed a central courtyard. Clonmore changed hands many times. It was seized by The Earl if Kildare in 1516, and then seized again by The Earl of Ormond in 1598. The castle fell under the ownership of several different families during the confederate war before it finally was taken in 1650 by Cromwellian forces led by Colonel Hewson. See Visions of the Past with numerous images.
● Ducketts Grove built around 1830 by William Duckett - the ruin's of the 19th C Georgian home of the Duckett Family, built circa 1800s, formerly at the centre of a 12,000-acre (49 km2) estate, that dominated the landscape of the area for hundreds of years. After the death of William Duckett in 1908, the last male Duckett, his wife Maria Georgina Duckett lived on in the property until 1916. By this time she was no longer on speaking terms with her only daughter, Olive. The outcome of this was the disinheritance of her daughter following her death 1937, leaving her what is known as "the angry shilling", just one shilling, from an estate valued at £97,735 at the time. Following the departure of the Ducketts, the estate was managed by an agent until 1921, and was subsequently managed by local farmers, and later by the Land Commission. The division and sale of the estate lands was completed by 1930. During the time the building was empty, it was used by the local IRA and its flying column. It was taken over by Carlow County Council in 2005, who restored the walled gardens for use by the public as a park. The Duckett's Grove house was destroyed by fire overnight on 20 April 1933.
~・See Visions of the Past for numerous images.
● Dunleckney Manor Lord Walter Bagenal (1670–1745) was a member of the prominent Bagenal family, who resided in Dunleckney Manor in County Carlow, Ireland. Bagenal founded the town of Bagenalstown on the River Barrow, modelling it on Versailles, France.
● Huntington Castle a.k.a. Clonegal castle, dates back to the 15th century - Country house still lived in by the successors of the original founding fathers in the 1600's. The original tower house, which served as a garrison, was built in the 15th century as a stronghold for the Caviness family. Later Baron Esmonde whose family laid out most of the gardens in the 17th century. Due to the strategic importance of the village of Clonegal during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland the castle was captured by Oliver Cromwell as he marched on Kilkenny in 1650. It is now a private house open to the public for guided tours throughout June, July, August and September. It was the setting for Stanley Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon. Its basement has been the base of a religion, the Fellowship of Isis, since 1976, The castle hosted the Solas Festival in August 2008, co-founded by Olivia Robertson, her brother Lawrence Durdin-Robertson and his wife Pamela.
● Killedmond - Borris - large mid-19th century cottage ornée in the Tudor-Gothic style. It was designed by Frederick Darley for the Kavanagh family of nearby Mount Leinster Lodge. In Victorian times the house became the rectory for nearby Killedmond Church but was sold in the early 20th century. Subsequently it passed through a succession of different hands until purchased by the present owners who offer school visits, courses for adults. etc
● Leighlinbridge Castle - A reference to a castle at beginning of the 13th century. In 1547 Sir Edward Bellingham built a castle here the ruins of which are to be seen on the east bank of the Barrow. For more detailed information of the castle of Leighlinbridge see 'McLeans Life of Sir Peter Carew.' Ref. Annuary J.R.S.A.J. 1868/9, page 70.
● Lisnavagh House family seat of the McClintock-Bunbury family. The Bunbury family have lived at Lisnavagh for over 300 years. They descend from a Norman baron granted land in the borough of St Boniface, in Cheshire. Reputedly he became Lord of Boniface’s Borough, which became shortened to ‘Boni’s Borough’ and thence to ‘Bun Bury’. The first Bunbury in Ireland was Benjamin, a Royalist on the run from Cromwellian England. The family flourished and in the 1840s, Captain Bunbury was given money to build himself a new house. This was Lisnavagh, a sprawling Gothic-Revival mansion by Daniel Robertson, in a fifteen-acre garden. Linked to Captain William McClintock-Bunbury. Oscar Wilde liked the name so much he used it for Algernon’s fictional friend in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. Today a wedding venue, and film location.
~・See Lisnavagh House
● Mount Leinster Lodge - Detached Country House - Tudor Revival house with half-dormer attic, c. 1840, designed by Daniel Robertson. Part re-roofed and re-fenestrated, c. 1970. Interior retains some original features including granite staircase. Now a hotel.
● Pollerton Castle Built 1839 - In 1872 it was the residence of Mr. Charles Casey.; More recently Mr. Richard. Healy & Son. - Richard Healy senior (1911 – 1993) founded the funeral business in March 1944.
● Rathnageeragh Castle South of Myshall. The castle was built possibly in the 14th century and used as an out fort by the Kavanagh family until seized in an Inquisition in Wells in 1631, eventually destroyed by Cromwell in 1650. In the 20th century a nearly perfect pair of heavy iron leg fetters and half a pair of iron manacles were discovered near the castle ruin. They are considered unique because they may be of Gaelic rather than Norman origin.
● Shankill Castle (Paulstown): dates from the 17th century. Peter Aylward bought the lands from his wife's family, the Butlers, in 1708. A branch of the Butler family, the Toler-Aylwards resided at Shankill until 1991 and some still live in the area of Kilkenny. Shankill is now home to the artist Elizabeth Cope.
● Stewart's Lodge (or Steuart's Lodge) Leighlinbridge. Associated names - Steuart; Duckitt-Steuart; sub Eustace-Duckitt.
● Tinnehinch Castle On the border of Carlow and Kilkenny Tinnahinch Castle is a fortified house, which was built by James Butler around 1620. The last occupant of the house, "Mad Butler', was burnt out of the house, through scandals involving his own family.
● Wykeham House Bagenalstown. Connected families - Bayliss, sub Loftus. Victorian stone house.
References and Sources
County Carlow Specific
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Other Pages for Historic Buildings of Ireland Counties
Historic Buildings of County Kilkenny
Historic Buildings of County Tipperary
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