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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Carlow County
Carlow is located in the southeast corner of Ireland but does not have any coastline. It is one of the second smallest counties in Ireland but is border has many counties associated to it. They include Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Kildare and Laois. Many visit Carlow each day because it is on the main Waterford to Dublin route and a lot of people stop in Carlow to get a bit to eat and rest of a while. Carlow is mainly Flat County with most of the people farming the land. The River Barrow flows through Carlow and also forms the boundary between Carlow and Kilkenny. The River Slaney also flows to the east of Carlow and this separates Carlow from Wicklow. Carlow is a great place to visit if you are looking for the image of Ireland and what it was like many years ago. Many villages in Carlow are very old and many buildings still remain from years gone. The countryside in Carlow is beautiful and is very relaxing. Many people spend a few days relaxing in the countryside of Carlow due to the peace and quiet that it offers.

The Carlow area has been settled for thousands of years. St Mullins monastery is believed to have been established around the 7th century. Carlow Castle was constructed by William Marshal, Earl of Striguil and Lord of Leinster, c1207-13, to guard the vital river crossing. Saint Patrick's College dates from 1793 and the Carlow Courthouse was constructed in the 19th century. There are still many old estates and houses in the surrounding areas, among them Duckett's Grove and Dunlecky Manor. St Mullins today houses a Heritage Centre.

The town is recalled in the famous Irish folk song, Follow me up to Carlow, written in the 19th century about the Battle of Glenmalure, part of the Desmond Rebellions of the late 16th century. In 1650, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Carlow was besieged and taken by English Parliamentarian forces, hastening the end of the Siege of Waterford and the capitulation of that city. During the 1798 rebellion Carlow was the scene of a massacre of 600 rebels and civilians following an unsuccessful attack on the town by the United Irishmen, known as the Battle of Carlow. The Liberty Tree sculpture in Carlow, designed by John Behan, commemorates the events of 1798. The rebels slain in Carlow town are buried in the 'Croppies Grave', in Graiguecullen, County Carlow.

One of Carlow's most notable landmarks is the Brownshill Dolmen, situated on the Hacketstown Road (R726). Carlow Courthouse is situated at the end of Dublin Street. It was 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.

Carlow Castle was probably built between 1207 and 1213 by William Marshall on the site of a motte erected by Hugh de Lacy in the 1180s. Only the western wall and two towers now survive. 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.

Carlow Town Hall is situated on the north side of the Haymarket, and was the trading centre for Carlow. A number of other markets were located around the town, including the Potato Market and Butter Market. The Town Hall was designed by the church architect William Hague in 1884.

Carlow Town
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Carlow County
Place: Leinister
People: 50,349
Speak: English, Irish
Area: 346 sq mi
GPS: -6.833333, 52.666667