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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Dublin Road

Carlow

Part I


Looking down the Dublin Road
By Mary O'Neill, M.Sc.

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 behind Stathams.

Old Street map of Dublin Road
Click on image to enlarge

Carlow Marble

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.

A 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 plumber.

Thatched Chaple

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

Tullow Church

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.

Older Church

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, Carlow.

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 Railway Road.

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.

Quarry Holes

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.

Source: Carloviana Vol 1. No. 3 Dec 1956. p.18 -22.


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