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The population of the town numbers about 20,000 people, 3,000 of whom are students.
The River Barrow flows through the town, and forms the historic boundary between counties Laois and Carlow.
Carlow town is County Carlow’s largest town and its administrative centre.
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 Marshall, 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.
St Mullins today houses a Heritage Centre.
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.
Ducketts Grove was once the home of the Duckett family during the 18 th, 19 th and 20 th century and was designed in a Gothic style by Thomas A Cobden. It is a great building surrounded by some of the most magnificent gardens. If you are interested in architecture and landscaping then this grand house is not to be missed. The house was built in middle of a 12000 acre estate and was once the main feature of the Carlow landscape. The building itself has a truly inspirational design, which incorporates a number of towers and turrets in a range of different shapes and sizes. Many of these towers have been decorated with oriels and small niches, which contain statues.
The house is located in Rainstown, between the towns of Carlow and Tuillow. The grounds however, extend through a number of different towns and boast a huge range of different plant species. In 2005 Carlow County Council acquired Duckett’s grove and began work on the restoration of two of the walled gardens. Work is also required on the house itself, but despite its current state of decay it still is one of the most romantic and photogenic old buildings in Ireland. The history of the building has been colourful; originally it started life as the stately home of the Duckett family who left the estate in 1915. Since then the house has been used as a training camp for the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the 1920’s before being owned by a local farmers co-operative. By the early 1930’s the estate was owned by Thompsons Engineering Works with Carlow County Council taking on the property in 2005.
A day trip to Duckett’s Grove and the walled gardens provides a number of interesting things to discover and explore. The interesting architecture begs many questions about the state of mind of the architect when he designed the building as well as that of the Duckett family who commissioned it. Visitors can take time to explore what is left of the house before taking a stroll through the gardens and taking in the array of different horticultural displays.
If you wish to visit Duckett’s Grove and its magnificent gardens then the town of Carlow is a great place to stay. Carlow is located on the southeast of Ireland in County Carlow just 84km from Dublin. The town itself is relatively small with only 20,000 inhabitants, of which 3,000 are students. Carlow itself is also a picturesque place to visit with the River Barrow flowing through the centre. Reaching Carlow from Dublin is easy by car as the N9 from Dublin to Waterford passes directly through the town. In May 2008 a bypass was built which has formed part of the M9 motorway and has greatly reduced the amount of traffic running through the town centre. For those wishing to hire a car, there are a number of car rental services in Dublin that can be arrange on the day of arrival or in advance.
There is a wide choice of hotels both in the town and in the vicinity.
Guesthouses and B&Bs are available in Carlow and around the perimeter of the town.
Restaurants abound and there is a very good vibrant pub and music nightlife.