Tullow Street has been an
integral part in the history and development of Carlow town and
county since 1824. Local historian Michael Purcell
has tracked the history of the famous street through the ages and
remembers those whose lives will be forever linked with the
A large number of
shopkeepers have come and gone over the past hundred years or
more. Below are listed just a few of the
traders who provided various goods and services to the people of Carlow and
surrounding areas over the past One hundred and Eighty years or more.
Jewellers (Est 1880)
Hendersons 'Old Scoth House'
Milliners & Linen Manufacturers
seller (He was so deaf his customers had to write down
their orders on a slate).
Two shops which stood next door to each
other on Tullow Street, No. 115 which was owned by Tom Conway Shoe &
Lace maker and No. 114 which was owned by Pat Lennon who was a Butcher
and Tanner, were both burnt down at the same time on the same day.
The ironic part about this story is that both men also lost their
lives as a result of the fire. Both these shops were situated in between
Molly McAssey's Haberdashery and Johnny Gorman who were unaffected by
- Tullow Street c2006
- Image by W. Muldowney
Tullow St, Carlow
1 Tullow Street -
ERA McCormack’s are the latest business
to move into this spot after Paul’s Bookshop closed in 2004. In
the middle of the last century this was a Saddlers & Tanners owned by
John Brennan. Some time later it became the property of James
Morris, Wine & Spirit Merchant.
James Morris was a Quaker and
his house was used as a meeting place for the Society of Friends.
Margaret Connors, Straw Bonnet maker, lived in the cellar for which
she paid a rent of 1/- a week. (current day equivalent 5p).
Morris sold to James Ogle who established Ogle Hotel there. This
was also the site of the Victoria Hotel before Ogle's.
After the hotel closed the premises was acquired by M. Richards who
opened a Hardware store. Richards also owned an Iron foundry
where Dooley Motors is now.
Mulhalls were also owners at one
time then came Gillespie's who had a Hardware Store and when they
moved to larger premises it was taken over by Paul O'Neill (Paul's
(The above photo appeared in
Michael Purcell's article on Tullow Street - August 25th 2006
in The Nationalist).
2, Tullow Street
- Sherwood's occupies this location now but
in 1992 it was owned by Byrne’s Electrical store, (until
recently, located at Burrin Street).
3 Tullow Street - The Knick Knack shop.
In 1881 George Cripps George, a Saddler occupied number 3
according to Slaters directory of 1881 for Carlow.
- 4 Tullow Street -
Fraziers Diner. William Jackson had an Earthenware
shop and he was replaced by James Cullen the Drapers.
George Cripps who was a Harness dealer ran his business
from this shop. Henry Dyer ran a Watchmakers business here.
- Later Thomas Murphy (Town Commissioner
and many years Chairman of the Urban Council) bought numbers
- 2, 3 & 4 Tullow Street and opened a large drapery store selling Irish
manufactured goods as a specialty. Thomas Murphy was the first to
install large plate glass windows on his premises in Carlow.
Melvilles carried on the same type of trade until recently when the
shop was purchased by Gerry Byrne and Michael Shanahan, property
developers, and divided the store into three modern shop units
comprising of Byrnes Electrical, The Knock Knack shop and Fraziers
The picture shows us at the sales rush
in 1957. Nothings changed! Curtsey of 'Carloman'.
Note from Anna Nolan Gough:
Melville's, who by the way even in my day still had a cashier
box, you could pay the assistant at the counter who then placed
the money in a cartridge container and then placed it in a tube,
a sort of 'flyover' system, to the lady in the 'cashbox'. They
had a fantastic selection of ladies clothes, gloves and
particularly 'undergarments'. Their display and storage
furniture was fabulous with little drawers, glass in the front
and drawers at the assistant's side. I remember Patty Corcoran
from Rancalli worked there and it was intriguing to visit. It
was the place you were taken for your first 'upper undergarment'
if you know what I mean. You went there for your communion
gloves and socks and for your confirmation also. There was also
no 'Self-Service' in those days; everything was served over the
counter. Lots of people bought their goods on 'Tic' (credit) and
you paid it off little by little every week.
All three shops number's 2, 3 & 4
were all amalgamated in 2006 into one large Electrical shop
known as "Sherwoods Electrical Goods". Sherwoods, a family run
business established in 1953.
- 5 Tullow Street - Tullow Street - was once occupied by
Frances Nolan a book-seller and seeds man. He was replaced by James
Herson, butcher and afterwards George Douglas - Watchmaker & Jeweller (also sold
Gramophones & Gramophones Records).
- Now Ken Tuckers Jewellery shop
is still busily trading under the name Douglas Jewellers.
- Like most of the shops in Tullow Street,
these premises have a colourful history going back many, many years.
We learned for instance, that in the course of the demolition work in
1960 which led up to the reconstruction scheme three arches were
revealed on the facade. These spanned the frontage , and were
apparently separate arches leading to a coach yard of houses which
presumably were built after the 1798 rebellion when the whole of
Tullow Street was burned down.
- The name Douglas has been synonymous with
jewellery business for more than one hundred years. In 1850 a man
named Douglas opened a jeweller's shop in the premises on the opposite
side of the street but slightly lower down, now occupied by Tully
- About thirty years later in 1880, the
present site was acquired by an ancestor of the late Mr. George
Douglas. This business was continued until the death of Mr. George
Douglas in 1951 and in the following summer the shop was bought by the
- Douglas was appointed agent in 1902 for -
the "Talking Machine" which he advertised as "The Gramophone" - sings,
talks and makes music for 26/- = 26 shillings (equivalent to about 30
pence sterling today).
6 Tullow Street -
Mac's Menswear was
originally Rozen Adams, Boot and Shoe makers. It was rebuilt in
1860 when it became Boltons, Ironmongers and Timber merchants, who
also owned No's. 147 & 101 Tullow Street. It then became Igoes, delph
store and after that it became Dillon's, "Tea and Homemade Cake Shop".
It was established as a men's outfitters by the late Evan McDonald and
is presently owned by Tommy McDonald who also owns Detail Clothing in
Potato Market and Top Gear in Tullow Street.
Tullow Street - Below
is an image of a rare example of an early nineteenth
century shop front.
was originally owned by Marian Turner, “Trimming and Fancy
Warehouse”. It passed to the ownership of Catherine & Dan
McDonnell who was a spirit dealer and also owned No 146
Tullow Street and a licensed premises in Haymarket. No 7
has remained in the ownership of her descendants for over
120 years until it was bought by Tully’s and named Buzz’s
Pub and Snooker Hall.
8, 9, 10 & 11 Tullow
Street - Shaw's Department
Store was once owned by Edward Hammond, Grocer and Tea Dealer.
He purchased No. 9 from John Ivers, Linen and Woollen Dealer
and then he purchased No. 10 from James Murphy, Provisions
shop, and obtained a spirit licence. On the death of
Edward the property passed to John Hammond M.P.T.C., and
afterwards to Gerald Donnelly. It now forms part of Shaws
Department Store. The license was transferred up Tullow
Street to what became "The Barrow Lounge". Shaws
purchased No. 11 which passed from Patrick Tracey, Bootmaker,
to Jackson's, Ironmonger and later Browne's, Provision Store.
Shaws – famous for its 'almost nationwide'
advertising slogan – has 15 department stores, including 8 to 11
Tullow Street. The retailer has operated in Carlow for over 30
years and also runs Haddens Shopping Centre. Shaws, founded in
1865 as a drapery shop in Co Laois by Henry Shaw, employs almost
1,000 people across its stores. In 1976 it acquired Haddens,
which had shops in Carlow, Wexford and Dungarvan.
Source: The Nationalist July 2010
Tullow Street – At one time c.1842 -1846 Thomas Tracey had a
Leather Shop and shared with George Faircloth, Glass Merchant.
It then became Joe O'Brien's Licensed Premises & Grocer sometime
in 1894 and it then passed to Mansfield's and the it passed to
John Hoseys and after that it was acquired by Jas Bolger,
Optician, who opened a Medical Hall c.1929. Mrs Bolger was a
sister of Fr. T. Burbage P.P. Tinryland, the Patriot Priest,
Scholar and close friend of DeValera. Bolgers transferred to
Corrs Chemist which was once again changed to Corrs Photography
and Gift Shop. Currently its Scraggs Alley and Back Door
Restaurant. In 1901 it was occupied by Mary Anne Byrne (Widow)
who ran a Grocers shop and in 1911 it was occupied by Samuel
Sparkes from Wexford and is listed as a Store Keeper in the
13 Tullow Street -
This was Ruddock’s Newsagency before James Walsh,
bootmaker, took over then P Murphy watchmaker and finally
Hodges paper shop. During Ruddock’s time the premises was a
sort of unofficial meeting place for the Carlow Cricket Club.
Norman McMillan in his recently published book, ‘One Hundred
and Fifty Years of Cricket and Sport in County Carlow’, gives
an account of Mrs. Ruddocks teas at the cricket matches when
she would serve sausages with small union Jacks stuck in them.
Ruddocks was taken over by Michael Nolan and Scallywags
Children’s Clothes shop until the present Audio Vision
electrical shop occupied these premises before EUROPRICE.
14 Tullow Street
- 'Page One' bookshop was John Leonard’s,
bookmaker, then Mary O’Neill, grocers.
15 Tullow Street
was Henry Banks drapers, (Banks was a granduncle of W.H.
Hadden). After Henry Banks, came Thomas Burgess and sons,
drapers. Both those shops, No.’s 14 and 15, became Ford's
drapery store before finally forming part of Haddens.
16 Tullow Street
- James Saunders leather store; Saunders
was deaf and his customers had to write their orders on a
17 Tullow Street - was owned by Patrick Coleman,
painter and glazier.
18 Tullow Street
- was occupied by John Murray - hatter,
19 Tullow Street
- John Byrne, grocer, afterwards John
Herons butchers shop.
20 Tullow Street
- No. 20 was
William Graham, boot maker, later Fenlons painters and
decorators, and more recently John O’Brien, cabinet maker and
French polisher. This shop was where A.T.R. had their
television and video section. Unfortunately this part of
Haddens was to be the start of one of the biggest fires in
Carlow since Boakes of Burrin Street went on fire at the turn
of the century. The late Miss Mangan used to recall how the
back window of a coal market house cracked from the intense
heat although Boakes was nearly 200 yards away.
News of the Haddens fire brought thousands
of people to Carlow town centre on Monday evening the 30th
April, 1984 to watch in horror as one of Carlow’s oldest
established family businesses was completely gutted.
Haddens was replaced with the present
Haddens Centre comprising many thriving shops. These
include Steilmann ladies boutique, Dynasty accessories, A.T.R., John
O’Neills shop, Stitches boutique, Ciarda Gray shoe boutique,
Curtains and Covers, The Bag shop, Haddens Department store and
the upstairs Restaurant, and downstairs: Just Look fashion
shop, Mister Minit shoe repairs etc, Options furniture and gift
shop, McHughs Pharmacy. Kingsley menswear, Fashions Mind, Young
Styles, Bargain Bonanza, which became Catherine Deegans,
‘Confectionery and Luncheons and Teas’, later this was Miss
Foley’s (The Bridge) library. (Hadden’s
came to town in 1909 and their extensive store replaces seven
Haddens advertised in the Nationalist with NCNA at the bottom
of the advert sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s.!!!