- Looking down the Dublin Road
- By Mary O'Neill,
RUNNING north from Carlow, the Dublin Road
was known about 60 years ago (1890's) as "The Quarries."
The road was cut through the quarry which extended from the
present Park on the Athy Road, crossing through the Parochial
Field—formerly Greenbank—right through to the College wall
Burial Ground on Dublin Road
- Old Street map of
image to enlarge
Although the quarry has been out of action
for 150 years now, Carlow marble fireplaces can be seen in some
of the old houses of the town. Two of them were in the old
Parochial House, Athy Road, one in Mrs. A. Duggan's, and one in
Miss Laffan's. The marble was black with a white stratum running
through it. When the foundations of the present Parochial House
were being dug, a sample of the marble was unearthed.
The Quarries, the Quarry School, the Quarry
Chapel and the Quarry Division of the United Irishmen are names
still remembered by the older people.
member of the Haughton family who built Greenbank used to
collect the rents of some of the houses on the left side of
Dublin Road which they built. He had a great joke with his
tenants when the name was changed from the Quarries—"You are
very grand people now—residing on the Dublin Road." He regularly
inspected the houses to see if they were in good condition.
Coach Toppled in
Let us start at Statham's Garage. Picture
the Quarry which had no fence—until one night the Coach from
Dublin toppled into it. Thereafter, a wall was erected. This was
the site of Richard's Foundry. For many years it was derelict,
until it was bought by the late Fred Thompson, who established
the Shamrock Oil Co. there. A little above this was a
roofing-tile and concrete block factory which did not last long.
Stathams took over both properties in 1936. Their workshops were
a music hall called the Carloseum. Mr. Stephen Carroll's house,
which divided them, was built by Bartle Hutchinson, who was a
Court View—a terrace of four houses— was
built in 1908 by Michae1 Richards, a Wexfordman. These houses
were erected on Mitchell's Builder's Yard. It had been formerly
called the Barrack Yard, where circuses were held. The upper
house of Court View -the late Peter Doyle's—has a large wooden
doorway as a side entrance. This was the entrance to the laneway
that led to the thatched chapel in the Quarry. It was situated
around about the site of where Shirley's Garage now stands. In
Bishop Comerford's Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin, vol. I,
page 269, it states there was a Mass House in Carlow in 1731.
This must be the Quarry Chapel. When Dean Staunton was about to
enlarge the old church, he changed his mind, and built a new
church on that part of the College grounds known as Winnott's
four-acre field. It was a leasehold property with a 999 years
lease, and for that reason the landlords could not prevent the
Dean from building a church on the land.
- Green Acres Restaurant
This church was something the same as that
which still stands in Tullow-—which church was modelled on the
one Dean Staunton built in Carlow. Carlow Church referred to was
built in 1787 and consisted of a nave and chancel in the
plainest Gothic style. It contained two transepts with a gallery
on each and another gallery on the nave. Tullow Church, it may
be interesting to note, was built in the same style by Dr.
Delaney in 1792.
Dean Staunton was succeeded by Father
William Fitzgerald as P.P. of Carlow and succeeded by Father
Andrew Fitzgerald as President of Carlow College. Dr. Doyle (J.K.L.)
got leave from the Holy See to make Carlow a Mensal parish when
Fr. William Fitzgerald died in 1823, and thus made the way clear
for permission to build a Cathedral in the town, which was thus
established as the diocesan centre.
It was originally intended that the College
should buy the land formerly owned by Devine and later by Mr.
Paddy Hearns, and it was to have been used to drive an entrance
to St. Patrick's from the Railway Road. The late Monsignor
Delaney of Rathvilly told Fr. Hickey this.
It may be worth while in passing to mention
that the Parish Church that preceded the Dublin Road Church was
on the site of the old monastery of St. Crenar, about the place
where Carlow Town Hall now stands.
To go back to the laneway at Doyles, it is
also told that in the Battle of Carlow in 1798, some of the
United Irishmen escaped from Tullow Street through Lowry's Lane
(next to Dempseys), through the College Grounds, and out on to
the Dublin Road by the laneway at Doyles. This lane was referred
to as Mass-House Lane.
The next three houses tenanted by Messrs.
Cummins, Gahan and Meehan used to project out more than those
further up. Mrs. Kehoe of Pembroke, grandmother of the present
Walter Kehoe, who owned them, rebuilt and put them back in line
with the other houses in 1906. Messrs. Doogue, Whelan and Moores
were built by the Bruen family about 90 years ago on the site of
the garden belonging to Mrs. Margaret Donnelly, who lived in the
house which was later divided in two and now occupied by
Donegans and Doogues. Mrs. Donnelly sold the garden to the
Bruens, who built these first three houses.
Above these houses is a wooden gateway —the
entrance to a laneway which was a cul-de-sac. There were
thatched houses in this lane.
From this laneway up to Mrs. Reyes's house
all the roofs were thatched, but Bruens replaced them with
slate. As we walk up further we find three houses have been
demolished and ugly walls take up their place before we reach
the Mercy Convent.
Leinster Crescent was built by a Carlow Tea
Agent named Devine in the 1880's. This advertisement appeared in
the Nationalist on 29th September, 1888: "3 New Houses to let
free of rent to 1st November next if taken now. They are 3
storied, fitted with bells, gas brackets, etc. Pump at rear.
Rent £20 yearly and Taxes.—P. Devine, 1 Leinster Crescent,
- Dublin Road with St Mary's Cemetery on the left
The Tea Man
Devine was known as the Tea Man and sent 20
or 30 vans out the country selling tea. Three of his sons were
at school with Father Hickey and Mr. P. C. Bergin at the Old
Academy. The many girls in his family were educated in the Mercy
Convent. Mr. Devine lived in the house now occupied by Major
Fitz-maurice. He also owned the plot of land called "Paddy
Hearn's Paddocks" and sold it to Mr. Maffit, who in turn sold it
in sites to each of the present owners of the five houses on the
The Haughton family of Greenbank built most
of the houses on the left hand side where the Courthouse
railings end. There are two houses owned by Messrs. McDarby and
FitzRoy. The indenture was signed on the 14th September, 1898,
between Emma Jameson, wife of Venerable James Jameson,
Archdeacon of Leighlinbridge in the Co. of Carlow, Caroline
Haughton Murphy, wife of Isaac James Murphy, Armagh, Helen
Christina Sunderland of Londonderry, and Rosa Frederica Grubb of
Co. Tipperary—the Lessors, and Luke Wynne of Dublin Street,
Carlow, Boot and Leather Merchant, the Lessee.
The premises are part of the ground
formerly called the Quarry Holes, situate in the Parish, Barony
and County of Carlow. The sale was subject to the following
terms which state: "excepting and reserving unto the Lessors all
walls and other boundaries dividing the said demised premises
from the other property of the Lessors adjoining same, and
further excepting and reserving unto the Lessors, their heirs
and assigns, all Quarries of stone, slate and marble and other
minerals and all mines and other Royalties whatsoever with
liberty to enter same to dig out and carry away same."
Luke Wynne died about 24th February, 1922,
and left the houses to his nephew James Dowling, who sold to
Thomas Fenelon. The latter died intestate in 1943 and the houses
went to Grace, William and Francis Fenelon jointly. They sold
the properties to present occupiers in July, 1945.