Duckett's Grove Castle, Rainstown, Co. Carlow.

Location – Just off the R418 E of Carlow town and S of Castledermot.
OS: S 800 790 (map 61)
Longitude: 6° 48' 43.99" W
Latitude: 52° 51' 21.7" N
See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – Duckett’s Grove is probably the most recent site that I have on this website as it only dates to 1830. It is, however, a spectacular ruin that dominates the North Carlow landscape. The castle was designed by Thomas A. Cobden for John Davidson Duckett in the Castellated Gothic revival style. It is almost fairy like in its appearance with many turrets and towers reaching up towards the sky. The walls of the castle are covered in little niches with many statues (many still in situ) filling them up. The Ducketts did not live there for very long and by 1921 the castle was in the care of an agent and then by local farmers until it was destroyed by fire in 1933. Although now gutted it could be possible restored to its former glory. It was used as an IRA training camp during the 1920’s. The formal gardens have been restored in recent years and are now open to the public. It is not possible to get into the ruins themselves but the Abandoned Ireland website contains pictures of the interior. I would like to get inside myself some day. This is well worth a visit and the grounds very suitable to families.

Difficulty – Easy with good parking.

For more castles, click here.
For more sites in Co. Carlow, click here.

A gate in the outer wall.

The building is covered with figures such as this.

A fireplace on the first floor.




View The Standing Stone in a larger map

Carlow Castle, Co. Carlow.

Location – In the centre of Carlow town.
OS: S 718 767 (map 61)
Longitude: 6° 56' 4.01" W
Latitude: 52° 50' 11.46" N
See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – Carlow castle is an early 13th century Norman castle and is one of the oldest stone castles in Ireland and was built during the first wave of Normal invaders. It was probably built by William Marshall who succeeded Strongbow as the Earl of Pembroke. It later passed into the hands of Roger Bigod the Earl of Norfolk. In the 19th century the castle was owned by a man called Dr. Middleton who blew up large portions of the castle to clear space for a lunatic asylum, which is now destroyed also. All that remains today is the W wall and two circular towers. There is a ruined entrance on this wall with crenallation at the top. The towers have a significant base batter. As nice as this ruin is, it is now bunched in with modern buildings and it is hard to get a sense of the castle as it once was. It is even hard to get a good view of the remaining wall; such is the proximity of the surrounding buildings. It now has a garden feature feel to it.

Difficulty – Easy with ample parking.

For more castles, click here.
For more sites in Co. Carlow, click here.

Note the base batter.

Looking into one of the towers.

I would love to get up into those little hidden passages and explore.



View The Standing Stone in a larger map