Towns and Villages: Tullow

Tullow was formerly known as "Tullowphelim" from the O'Garvey territory of Hy Felimy Tuagh or the Northern Ofelimy. The O'Garvey's became merged with the Kavanaghs. Tullow was also known as "Tealach Foirtcheirn" or Foran's Hill. A castle was erected here under Hugh de Lacy circa 1181. The English Crown granted Tullowphelim and other manors of Carlow to Sir Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormonde, following the passing of the Act of Absentees which occurred in 1494. Sir Thomas Butler died in 1515.

In 1650 Tullow Castle was attacked by Cromwellian forces under Colonels Hewson and Reynolds. It was stoutly defended by Colonel Butler. In 1680, Thomas Dineley, an antiquary from Worcestershire visited Ireland. He described Tullow as "a fair town in the County of Catherlough, with a good castle, part of the Estate of the Earl of Arran". William Crutchley, Justice of the Peace, was named as the tenant of the castle. Tullow Castle is no longer in existence, but the date and circumstances of its demolition are not known.

An Augustinian Abbey was recorded in Tullow as early as 1312. In that year, Simon Lumband and Hugh Tallon granted a house and three acres of land to the Abbot. In 1541, James Butler, the 9th Earl of Ormonde, obtained from the Crown a lease of 21 years of the Monasteries of Tullow and Leighlinbridge. The Earls of Ormonde were eventually deprived of their monastery and surrounding properties. The buildings were demolished but it is not known when this took place.

Haroldstown Portal Tomb

Haroldstown Portal Tomb or Cromlech is one of a group of these tombs stretching from Dublin to Waterford. It is situated near the bank of the Dereen River, which is a tributory of the Slaney. It features two overlapping capstones resting on a long chamber. It has two well-preserved portal stones large doorstone and side stones. These tombs were used for communal burial during the early Neolithic period. Their date of construction is circa 3300-2900 BC. This monument is more commonly called the Haroldstown Dolmen

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