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One of the more dominant buildings in the town of Carlow in the Courthouse, standing well elevated with a very lavish set of steps leading up to a very stylish entrance.
The architecture of Carlow courthouse itself offers a lavish and imposing external architecture, which later courthouses were not to incorporate due in large part to the very high costs of such extravagant designs. It is built in ashlar granite and the front aspect highlights Morrisons style of Greek revivalist architecture – with a projecting central block screened by a portico with eight Ilyssus style Ionic columns set above a grand flight of steps.
The architect who designed Carlow courthouse – William Vitruvius Morrison – came from a highly talented architectural lineage being the son of Sir Richard Morrison who had during his career been knighted for his architectural achievements and became the most influential architect of his time.
Sir Richard had studied under none other than James Gandon and both himself and another architect, Johnston, inherited the practise when Gandon died. William followed in his fathers footsteps, and indeed lived up to the high hopes placed on him. Described as being perhaps more gifted than his father was, his output of work included the classical courthouse at Tralee. William was to suffer from prolonged bouts of ill health however and sadly died before his father at the young age of 44 in 1838.