Sunday, August 07, 2005
Continuing my scrutiny of Leinster counties, this week it's the turn of Carlow.
Carlow is a county located towards the south east of Ireland. In Irish, Carlow means "four-part lake". The town of Carlow, built on the River Barrow, has a population of 17,880.
Some of the nicknames for Carlow county include 'The Dolman County', 'The Fighting Cock County' and 'The Scallion Aters'.
Historically, the Carlow area has been settled for thousands of years. St Mullins monastery is believed to have been established in the vicinity in the 7th century. 1180 saw the construction of Carlow Castle by William the Marshall, Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Leinster to guard the vital river crossing. Over the following centuries many other historic buildings were erected. Ballyloughan Castle, Ballymoon Castle, Leighlinbridge Castle and Tower House were all built in the 14th century. 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", and was, during the 1798 rebellion, the scene of a vicious massacre of 500 rebels and civilians following an unsuccessful attack on the town.
According to the most recent census, the county's population is 46,014.
Wikipedia, when citing famous people from Carlow, mentions William Dargan, Irish TV presenter Kathryn Thomas, Pop-star Ryan O'Riain of D-Side and Richie Kavanagh. I confess I don't know too much about these people.
My own experiences of Carlow have been quite limited. Usually Carlow has been a place I stop by on the way to another county. No offence to any Carlow natives who may be reading this!
© 2008 United Irelander.