Carlow Castle

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  • Aspects of Carlow

Carlow Castle stands beside the banks of the rivers Barrow and Burrin near the centre of Carlow town. It is one of the most important Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland.

In the late twelfth century, there was a timber castle on this site. When William Marshal took Co. Carlow, as Lord of Leinster he built a stone castle. Construction started between the years 1210 and 1215.

The keep of Carlow Castle was originally rectangular in shape with a tower at each of its four corners. The castle was three storeys high.
In 1814, Carlow Castle was accidentally blown up by a Dr Middleton, who wanted to turn it into an asylum for people with mental illness. The eastern half of the building collapsed, and today all that remains is the western half of the keep.

Carlow Castle and its site was excavated by a team of archaeologists in 1996. The remains of Carlow Castle can be visited round the year. Its towered keep wall stands sentinel over the town of Carlow, which itself was founded in the early years of the thirteenth century.