Carlow Past and Present
issue of Carloviana I would like you to travel back with me to look at
Carlow Hospitals, in particular the Old Fever Hospital in Bridewell
Lane dating from the early 1800's. Fever Hospitals were in abundance
in the area at that time due to cholera, scarlatina, dysentery,
smallpox, tuberculosis, typhus not to mention hunger and want. All but
the last two were equally shared by rich and poor alike.
names in use in the 1800's are still in use today, in a new
millennium. Many land marks and place names have disappeared from the
area but records and memories of the past do exist.
fever Hospital at Bridewell Lane, in what the current generation calls
"The Old Jail". This was later called Clarke's Mill and subsequently
Hanover Mill, owned by the late Nome Gillespie. Hanover Court, as the
site is now called, are the location for town houses and apartments.
In 1828 the
physician to the Hospital was a Dr. Byrne who held the position for
about 3fi years, when he contracted a Fever and passed away. His
successor a Dr Stone, held the position for a similar period and also
succumbed to the Fever.
April 1836 Dr. Connor was appointed to the post, and the hospital had
11 patients, but in 1937, Dr. Connor was hit by the Fever but unlike
his predecessors he fortunately recovered and continued to look after
his patients until May/June 1844 when he was forced to retire by an
attack of Typhus. While he was ill a Dr White looked after the
patients, but he too succumbed to a fever a month later.
Kilkenny Road, then took charge of the Fever Hospital and he oversaw
the transfer of the patients from Bridewell Lane to the Mill lane
Fever Hospital. The records indicate that Axel Teegan, Tullow Street
was the first patient to be transferred on 2nd November 1842.
Subsequently, on the closure of the Mill Lane fever Hospital seven
patients were transferred to Green lane Hospital, these patients being
- Catherine Walsh, Esther James, Joe Patterson, Cath Kinsella, Pat
Tiemey from Graigue, aged 20, Mary Rourke, aged 19, and Billy
Milibanks, Hanover Bridge.
were recommended for admission by the following, Doctors O'Meara,
Bradley, Rawson, White and Porter, Rev. J. Jameson, Messers Alexander,
Cullen, Jackson, Rochford, Fishbourne, Tuckey, Fitzmaurice,
Montgomery, Shackpot, Duckett, Falkiner, Kavanagh, Burton, Cooper and
Haughton. Some of these names will be familiar to some of the readers.
following were appointed to the Committee of the Fever Hospital on
20th November, 1844 - Col. Breen M.B. , H. Faulkner, M. C. Bruen, H.
Rochford, H. Cussy, S. Elliott, William Duckett, Adam Jackson, John
Clarke, J. Haughton, J. Alexander, T. Haughton. H. Walters, W. Carey
and William Fishbourn, both Senior and Junior.
addresses are naturally very familiar, even though many of the former
dwellings are now banks, shops and offices erected on these sites i.e.
Askea, Military barracks, Gallipot Row, Barrack Street, Hanover
Bridge, John Street, Dublin Street, Charlotte Street,
Street, Scraggs Alley, Potato Market among others. The Attending
doctor sometimes wrote a remark or two after entering a patients name
in the records. This probably helped the doctor to remember who the
patient was, unlike today when we're all on computer, everywhere,
including the doctors office. The following were among the comments
but to protect privacy names will not be given for fairly obvious
Slept in wet bed. Fever,. When well pain in leg. Ate well
Sweet Brinn Jaundiced.
Ran away over wall.
Would not take medicine.
Here often. Impudent. Went away.
Humbugging. Sent away.
In decline. Wished to go home.
- 7 . Sent to Poorhouse. "Gauch"
would not take hun in as left there as a foundling.
A stroller from Bagenalstown. Got sick on road from T.B.
Aged 37. Died of Cholera. Grandmother, aged 96 died three
- 10. President Carlow Club.
- 12. From Graigue. Forbidden
to come here. Sent to Barrow Hospital. 13. Infant 2 months old.
Mother had no milk. Father could afford to pay for it.
- 14. Found eating crab
apples. Not sick: otherwise.
Female rabbit seller. Brought to hospital as starving and
found smoking beside a fire. House had no chimney for fire.
- 16. Ran away with house
- 17. Broke window -stole
- 18. Walked around room.
Went to bed. Lay on side. Died in 5 minutes.
8 months with child - bowels not moved for 10 days.
- 20. Awful head attack. Had
not slept for 10 days before admission or 4 days after. Husband
died in Union Fever Hospital. Very impudent.
- Other remarks included the
- Mrs E.S. (Potato Market –
Mr 5 never forgave me for curing her.
- M, aged 30. - Most
outrageous. Frightened E., aged 60, to death, 1 think.
- Went home without leave.
- Ran away.
- Always standing at window.
- Collapsed from cold.
- 7 months "en famille".
- Drunk 3 days. Most
unmanageable. Died after 6 days.
- Walked home.
- With fever.
- Father, mother and 3
children, aged 7, 3 and 2.
- Seven or eight patients
from one house on Hanover Bridge. And the list goes on.
Lane Fever Hospital, now known as the Youth Centre. holds weekly bingo
sessions and no longer appears to function as its name suggests.
are not plentiful in Carlow Town or County in the Second Millennium.
The elderly are well cared for in Sacred Heart Hospital. St. Bridgets,
St. Fiaac's House, Bethany House all in Carlow Town and in St.
Lazerian's House in Bagenalstown together with various nursing homes
scattered throughout the County. St. Dympna's Hospital continues to
provide for its patients and the District Hospital, for
convalescence)is where the Carlow Maternity Hospital used to be.
Prospective mothers must travel to Dublin, Kilkenny, Wexford or
Waterford to have their babies. Accordingly "true Carlovians" are few
and far between these days. The circumstances are much the same if one
falls ill. Is this progress?
ever again have our own hospital? Will our place names continue to be
used? Will our streetscapes and old historic buildings be preserved
and left undisturbed for future generations? Will those whose duty it
is, ensure that a careful blend of the old is preserved with the new?
What does past experience suggest? If you don't take an interest only
until you are directly affected yourself, should you expect others to
take an interest when you are affected and they are not
N.B. I wish
to thank my good friend who made access to the records possible.
Without this help the above article would not have been possible.
Source: CARLOVIANA 2000 Edition