Pony & Trap
- A rare
picture of Duckett's Grove Carlow, before it was destroyed by fire
- Source: Wikipedia
Duckett's Grove, Carlow
All images © Michael &
Janet Brennan 2000
Originally a Georgian home of noted Anglo Irish family, which was rebuilt
in Gothic Revival style. Although burnt in 1933 the remaining towers and
turrets, mostly ivy clad, give this enchanting structure a fairy tale air.
Built in 1830 by William Duckett in an estate covering more than 5,000
acres. During the Troubles, Duckett was occupied by soldiers from the Irish
Republican Army and many Nationalist leaders sought refuge here. The last
male heir died in 1908, but his widow lived in the house until 1912. At its
entrance is the most stupendous castellated gateway in southern Ireland.
located in Co. Carlow.
Ducketts Grove Rainstown, Carlow was designed in a Castellated Gothic
revival style by Thomas A. Cobden for John Davidson Duckett circa 1825. The
building incorporates numerous towers and turrets of varying shapes – round,
square and octagonal. One tall octagonal turret rises from the structure.
Duckett’s Grove is elaborately ornamented with oriels and niches containing
statues. Several statues on pedestals surrounded the building and lined the
approaches. The house itself is situated in the townland of Rainstown,
between Carlow and Tullow but the estate comprised several large townlands
and parts of others. Following the departure of the Duckett's the estate was
managed by an agent until 1921 then by local farmers and later by the Land
Commission. The division of the lands was completed by 1930. Duckett’s Grove
was destroyed by fire in April 1933 but the cause of the fire has not been
Three photos of Duckett's Grove in Co.
Carlow taken in 1999 by Maureen Neidle.
All images © Mrs
Janet Brennan 2000
Entrance gate to
The entrance gate to Duckett’s Grove was designed by John MacDuff Derick
(1810-1859). It was built between 1853-1855 and is one of the most elaborate
castellated gateways in Ireland. It comprises many battlemented towers and
has two great archways leading to two distinct drives. The principal archway
features a portcullis. Over this latter is found a very large armorial
bearing. It was said to have been originally coloured. The gateway is a
landmark in its own right even to this day. This close-up view shows on of
the castellated towers in Duckett's Grove with tiered Gothic style windows.
Three windows occur on the ground level, two in the central section and
three narrower features on the third storey. Moulding and other detail can
be seen over those windows on the ground floor. Duckett's Grove (now in
ruins) is situated in Rainstown, near Carlow Town.
The Duckett family lived there until around 1915. The house was gutted by
fire in 1933 and the Bishop Foley Schools were partly built with ashlar from
the ruins. But the shell of the huge range of the building and the spiral
staircase tower survived. Could it be the work of a mentally disturbed
architect, or is it the result of a mentally disturbed patron? The New York
Evening Post obituary, tells us that MacDuff Derick arrived in America in the Summer
of 1858, so there is a gap between his last recorded building and his
arrival. This may be the withdrawal from architect referred to, but would
not allow time for its resumption. His death, 'recorded in the journals of
the 20th instant' [September] 1859 must have occurred shortly before that
John Macduff Derick (c.1805/6-1859) A
Duckett’s Grove is described by Mark Bence-Jones
in his book 'A Guide to Irish Country Houses'
"A square house of 2 and three storeys,
transformed into a spectacular castellated Gothic fantasy by Thomas A.
Cobden … for J. D. Duckett 1830. Numerous towers and turrets, round, square
and octagonal; notably a heavily machicolated round tower with a tall
octagonal turret growing out of it. The walls enlivened with oriels and many
canopied niches sheltering statues; more statues and busts in niches along
the battlemented wall joining the house to a massively feudal yard gateway;
yet more statues manning the battlements of one of the towers, and disposed
around the house on pedestals………. The house was burnt 1933 and is now a
Late News just in from Pete
Schermerhorn, in the glorious Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts
"I just heard on RTE's News at One that the
Carlow County Council have "taken over" Duckett's Grove and the attached 11
acres of property. The Council plans to "stabilize" the ruin, and then work
on developing the historic garden areas around the building. At least some
parts of the facility should be open to the public next year. I'm sure
there'll be more information on this in the days to come".
05 September, 2005 13:43hrs
Grove and some Great Women
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