as described in Pigot &
Co's Directory of 1824
Anciently called Catherlough, or
"the city on the lake", is agreeably situated on the river Barrow, is
the assize town of the county, and distant forty miles south by west of
Dublin, twenty-four south of Naas, and eighteen miles north by east of
Kilkenny. It consists of two main streets; interesting each other at
right angles, and of others of minor importance, branching from the
former; besides these there are extensive suburbs on each side the
The situation of Carlow is
extremely pleasant; up the river, the landscape is highly picturesque,
and, for eight miles downward, there is one of the most delightful rides
imaginable. The Barrow is navigable from this town to New Ross, and also
to Athy, where it forms a junction with the Grand Canal. The town
possesses a good flesh market, and a most extensive one for butter, most
of which is sent to Waterford for exportation.
The established church is a modern
building, plain, but neat, with a steeple of moderate height. A Roman
Catholic seminary has lately been established for the education of the
youth of that persuasion, to which a splendid chapel is attached; the
Methodists also have a chapel, and the Quakers a meeting-house. The
court-room is built over the goal besides which there are a dispensary
and fever-hospital, a nunnery with a beautiful chapel contiguous, a new
Presbyterian chapel, the first ever built in Carlow, a Magdalen asylum,
a military hospital, an elegant assembly-room, and a subscription
Upon the whole, the white houses of
the town make a cheerful appearance from a distance, nor is the stranger
disappointed when he enters, for there is a cleanness and neatness in
the streets, superior to what is seen in most towns in the kingdom. Here
are the remains of a fine abbey, supposed to have been founded about the
On an eminence commanding the river stood a strong castle, baked
with towers and bastions, and supposed to have been erected by King
John, to secure a pass over the river Barrow for the protection of the
English pale. In 1397, and the 20th year of Richard 11. this castle was
surprised by one of the Cavanagh’s named Donald Mc Art, who himself
‘King of Leinster,’ in whose possession it remained a considerable
period. In 1577 this town, then fortified, sustained a long siege
against Rory Og O’Moore, who was then in rebellion against Queen
Elizabeth 1 but it was ultimately compelled to submit to this plundering
assailant, who inhumanly put many of the brave inhabitants to the sword.
In 1642, a detachment from the Duke of Ormond’s army rescued ~300
Englishmen, who were imprisoned in the castle, where they were almost
starved. In 1650 … speedily submitted to the parliamentary forces under
Cromwell, on his first approach. In a late effort to modernise this
venerable pile, its foundations were so undermined, that the whole
fabric gave way, and the only monument of its former magnificence now
remaining, is a confused mass of ruins. On the 25 of May, in the
unfortunate rebellion of 1798, a considerable body of insurgents made a
furious attack on the town, which was so gallantly defended by a small
party of the military, stationed in the barracks, that they were
repulsed with very great loss; forty-eight men, and several rebel
officers were taken prisoners, and executed a few days afterwards. In
this attack upwards of eighty houses were burnt.
Carlow is a very considerable thoroughfare, as it lies on the
high-road from Dublin to Kilkenny Watford and Cork; but notwithstanding
this advantage and the more important additional one of having a
communication by water with the metropolis, New - Ross, Waterford, and
the intermediate places, the trade is not very considerable, being
chiefly confined to provisions, and the supplying of the town and
neighbourhood with coals from the county of Kilkenny. It is governed by
a sovereign, and sends a member to the imperial parliament- its present
representative is Lord Charleville.
The population is about 10,000. The market days are Monday and
Thursday; and its four annual fairs are on the 4th May, the 22nd of
June, the 26th of August, and then the 8th of November.
CARLOW POST OFFICE - 1824
The Post Office was situated on Dublin
Street in Carlow town - In 1824 the Post Mistress was a Mrs. Mary
The Dublin Mail goes goes by the Cork Mail
Coach at twenty minutes past eleven o'clock at night, and returns from
Dublin at two o'clock in the morning. Castledermot, Ballitore,
Kilcullen, Naas and Rathcoole, By-bags, are conveyed by the Waterford
Mail. The Clonmel Mail by the Cork Mail at two o'clock in the morning.
The Castlecomer, by horse, at five o'clock in the morning; Tullow, by
Horse at half past five o'clock every morning.
Office hours are from eight o'clock in the
morning till eleven o'clock at night.
CARLOW TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS
Carlow is a very considerable
thoroughfare, as it lies on the high-road from Dublin to Kilkenny,
Waterford and Cork; but notwithstanding this advantage and the more
important additional one of having communication by water with the
metropolis (Dublin), New- Ross, Waterford, and the intermediate places,
the trade is not very considerable, being chiefly confined to
provisions, and the supplying of the town a neighbourhood with coals
from the County of Kilkenny.
The market days were Monday's and
Thursday's; and its four annual fairs were held on the 4th May, the 22nd
of June, the 26th of August, and the 8th of November.
The Dublin Mail from Cork-office,
Burrin St, at ten minutes past eleven at night, through Castledermot and
Naas, and returns for Cork every morning at two.
The Waterford Mail from the same
office, at twenty five minutes past 11 at night, by the same route as
the Cork Mail, and returns every morning at half past two for Waterford.
Fair Traveller, to Dublin daily,
from the Fair Traveller Office, Dublin Street, at nine in the morning,
through Castledermot, Kilcullen and Naas, to 15 Duke Street Dublin. It
returns by the sane route, and arrives in Carlow at half past two.
Retaliator, to Dublin at twenty
minutes past eight in the morning through Castledermot and Naas.
Day Coach for Dublin in the morning
and returns to Kilkenny at two.
CONVEYANCE By Water
Boats leave the canal harbour for
conveyance of goods to Dublin, Castlecomer, and Tullow on Monday's and
Saturdays in the morning and arrives in Dublin on the same day.
Applications must be made to Messrs. Manghan Co., Canal Harbour
Day Coach for Dublin at forty
minutes past one on Monday's, Wednesday's. and Friday's and returns for
Waterford on the alternative days at ten minutes past one. Van from Van
office Dublin Road on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's to Dublin at
eight, and returns for Kilkenny on Tuesday's, Thursday's and Saturday's.
Car to Ross. From Mr. Fairecloth's, Tullow Street, on Tuesdays,
Thursday's and Saturday's, at seven in the morning and returns on the