Carlow is an inland county. Its length from North to
South is 29 miles, and its breadth from East to West is
20½ miles; comprising an area of 221,344 statute acres,
of which about 193,649 acres are arable, 2,933 under
plantations, 4,658 bog and marsh, 10,901 barren
mountain, 8,705 under roads, fences, etc., and 498 under
water. The R.I.C. force consists of four officers and
114 men. The county is in the Dublin Military District.
Carlow is picturesquely and advantageously situated on
the eastern bank of the river Barrow, over which is a
bridge of five arches connecting it with the suburban
village of Graigue. It is of considerable extent and
contains more than sixteen good streets.
Within the last two years the Town Commissioners have
established a public market for the sale of butter,
fowl, eggs, and fish, and a public council under
municipal control. A separate market for the sale of
potatoes is held in another part of the town, called, on
that account, Potato-market.
The trade of the town has been very well maintained
during the late years of depression, although most of
its ancient industries — such as brewing, distilling,
and tanning — have disappeared. There are several large
flour mills in the town and its vicinity. The mineral
water manufactory of Messrs. Corcoran & Co. is a most
There are two foundries in the town, and the industries
of saddle and harness making, building, carpentry,
painting, boot-making, cabinet making. chandlery,
plumbing, bookbinding, upholstering, coachbuilding,
brass and tin working, are well represented.
Cabinetmaking and upholstering are carried on by Messrs.
Albert Morris & Co., Tullow-street, W. Douglas,
Dublin-street, and P. O'Brien, Potato-market.
There are three printing establishments in the town, and
it may be truly said that the style of work turned out
is not surpassed in any provincial town in Ireland. Two
newspapers are printed and published in Carlow — The
Nationalist, price 2d., advocating as its name
indicates the national programme, and the Carlow
Sentinel, which is the local organ of the landlord
and Conservative Party. The retail trade of the town is
done in a very superior manner, and goods can be
obtained of metropolitan quality and price.
Town Commissioners of Carlow exercise the Urban Sanitary
Authority, and have control of the streets and
footpaths. These latter powers were transferred from the
Grand Jury by a provisional order of the Local
Government Board in the year 1883.
Streets are kept in excellent repair, but the lighting,
being by oil lamps, is not all that could be desired.
Water supply is obtained from public and private pumps.
Some time back a project was set on foot to obtain a
supply from the hills at Killeshin, but it fell to the
Notable among the Public Buildings of Carlow is the new
Town Hall, standing in Hay-market. The building was
commenced in 1883, and opened in March, 1886. Messrs.
Connolly, of Upper Dominick-street, Dublin, were the
contractors for the work, and the architect was Mr.
The entire cost of the Town Hall and new Market Place
amounts to nearly £4,000 (including a sum in dispute
claimed for extra works). The building is commodious and
conveniently laid out.
Adjoining the building is a public market for hay,
straw, butter, fowl, eggs and fish.
The Courthouse, a large and stately building surrounded
by railings of artistic design, is erected at the
entrance of the town, at the junction of the Athy and
Further down, on the Athy road, is the District Lunatic
Asylum. It provides accommodation for patients from the
counties Carlow and Kildare, and is supported by
presentiments from the Grand Jury of each.
The Roman Catholic College of St. Patrick is situated in
the immediate vicinity of the town, and adjoining the
Cathedral. It stands on a slight eminence in a beautiful
and well wooded park of considerable extent. It was one
of the first colleges established in Ireland after the
.relaxation of the Penal Laws by the Irish Parliament in
1782, and has contributed quite a number of illustrious
names to the ranks of the hierarchy and priesthood both
at home and abroad.
It was founded by the Very Rev. Luke Keeffe, Bishop of
Kildare and Leighlin, with the assistance of the Very
Rev. Dean Staunton, then Parish Priest of Carlow.
Building of the college was commenced about the year
1787, and it was opened for the reception of students in
1793. Dean Staunton became its first president.
A beautiful new Chapel has recently been erected in the
college grounds at an expense of over £6,000. The
building is worthy of the institution and of the taste
and skill of the Rev. President.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral, an imposing temple, was
erected by the great Dr. Doyle, and was commenced in
1828. The architect was a Mr. Thomas A. Cobden.
The statue of Dr. Doyle, a gem of art, and said to be
Hogan's masterpiece, adorns the church.
The statue was sculptured at Rome and cost £1,300.
Adjoining the cathedral is the Presentation Convent,
founded in 1810. The present spacious and handsome
building was completed in 1875. The good sisters afford
gratuitous education to about 400 female children. The
Convent of the Sisters of Mercy was established in 1837.
The Christian Brothers Schools, in College-street are
Another educational establishment has been recently
opened in Browne-street, under the superintendence of
the President and Professors of the College. It is
called St. Lazerian's Classical and English Seminary.
There is also a Protestant Diocesan School called the
Browne School, an academy in Montgomery-street, C.
McQuaide, M.A., Principal, and a ladies' seminary in
The Protestant Parochial Church is an imposing and
St. Anne's (the Bruen Memorial) Church, situate on the
Athy-road, is a model of architectural beauty. (It
was translated stone-by-stone in the 1930's and rebuilt
as St. Clare's Parish Church, Graiguecullen).
The workhouse is situated about half a mile outside the
town on the Kilkenny-road. It
is a very ornamental structure, and scarcely in keeping
with the use for which it was designed.
Clubs and societies
There are several clubs and societies in the town, the
principal being the Club of the Catholic Young Men's
Society, established in 1886.
In connection with the institution there is an Athletic
and Football (Gaelic) Club, and a Literary Society. The
President is the Rev. E. Kavanagh, Adm.; and the
Secretary, John Hammond, Esq., C.T.C.
The Carlow Protestant Christian Young Men's Association
have their rooms in Burrin-street.