Carlow Castle

Map reference: S717767 (2717, 1767)

Photo by George Barker

About 1180 Hugh de Lacy built a motte at Carlow to control the crossing of the River Barrow. This was replaced between 1207 and 1213 by a strong stone castle probably built be William the Marshal. This was originally three storeys high and was a square keep with stout three-quarter round towers at the corners. It was entered through a first floor doorway on the north side. Only the eastern half of it still stands with its two corner towers and connecting wall. The castle is first mentioned in 1231. In 1306 it was given to the Crown upon the death of William's grandnephew and in 1312 it was granted to Thomas Plantagenet, who became Earl of Norfolk. Although it was in poor repair at this time it still continued in use until Cromwellian times. The topmost storey of the north-western tower dates from the 15th or 16th century. Most of the castle was demolished in 1814 to make room for the building of a lunatic asylum.

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