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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Images of Tullow Street


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Source: 1. "Up Tullow Street" an article in The Advertiser by Michael Purcell c 1992. Carlow in Old Pictures & Carlow in Old Pictures Vol 2 by Michael Purcell & The Official Guide to Carlow 1985-86.
2. Tullow Street by Michael Purcell - The Nationalist Aug 25 2006
Additional edits & images by M. Brennan, J. J. Woods, Anna Nolan Gough & Dermott O'Brien.

Tullow Street, Carlow from 1824 - 2006.

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 thoroughfare

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.

Barbara O'Farrell - Bakery
Byrnes - Butchers
Cather Inn
Daniel Muldowney - Tallow Chandler
Douglas's - Jewellers (Est 1880)
George O'Brien - Coach Builder
Grahams - Public House
Hendersons 'Old Scoth House' - Milliners & Linen Manufacturers
James Molloy - Public House
James Saunders - Leather seller (He was so deaf his customers had to write down their orders on a slate).
John Ivers - Woolen Shop
Kizi Cassidy - Coleman
Marian Turner - Straw Bonnet Maker
Michael Crotty - Bakery
Molly McAssey - Haberdashery
Mr Vaux - Bakery
Nolans - Soda Water Manufactures
Presentation Convent
Richard Pauls - Brewery
Richardsons - Haberdashers
Scraggs family
Spong's - Seed Merchants
Tynan's - Pawnbroker
Victoria Hotel

Carlow 1869

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 the fire.

Tullow Street c.1960's.
The Renault 4 started production in 1960.
Source: Adam Henneszsy
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. 

Victoria Hotel

Pauls New Bookshop sadly it is now closed

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 Bookshop).
(The above photo appeared in Michael Purcell's article on Tullow Street - August 25th 2006 in The Nationalist).
Picture required

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).

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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.

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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 Diner.

The picture shows us at the sales rush in 1957. Nothings changed! Curtsey of 'Carloman'.

Source of images: Dermot O'Brien.

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 Sports shop.
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 present owners.
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).
Picture required 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.

Source of image: Dermot O'Brien.

7 Tullow Street - Below  is an image of  a rare example of an early nineteenth century shop front.

BUZZ’S 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.

Delia Murphy received a great welcome in Carlow~ in the following years some of the locals would fondly recall "poor auld Delia" going into McDonnell's Pub, drinking a few "half-ones" and singing several songs before appearing on stage in the Ritz for the first of her two Concerts. ~ M.C. for the event was Hugh Governey, he recalled they had to pull her off the stage to end the first concert by 9pm, in order that they could hold the second concert...! In the comment section below you can hear her sing "when I come to Carlow "roving song. Source: Michael Purcell

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.


12 - 13 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 then 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 Parish Priest, Scholar and close friend of DeValera. Bolgers transferred to Corr's Chemist which was once again changed to Corr's 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 Census.


Source of images: Dermot O'Brien.

12 Tullow Street - J. F. Corr's chemist & Camera & Gift shop

Corr's chemist & Camera & Gift shop

Corr's chemist & Camera & Gift shop
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13 Tullow Street - This was Ruddock’s Newsagency before James Walsh, Bootmakers, 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.

Picture required 14 Tullow Street - 'Page One' bookshop was John Leonard’s, bookmaker, then Mary O’Neill, grocers.

15 Tullow Street - was Henry Banks drapers, (H. 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.

Picture required

16 Tullow Street - James Saunders leather store; Saunders was deaf and his customers had to write their orders on a slate.

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17 Tullow Street - was owned by Patrick Coleman, painter and glazier.

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18 Tullow Street - was occupied by John Murray - hatter,

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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 premises).

Haddens advertised in the Nationalist with NCNA at the bottom of the advert sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s.!!! Source: Carloman2

You will have noticed that a number of photos of shop fronts are missing from these pages. If anyone can provide a copy I would be most grateful.
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