One of the most valuable monuments in Carlow Town is the ruins of a medieval fortified castle.
Carlow Castle is located on the banks of the River Barrow.
And it is the first monument that I visited in Carlow Town and have taken my first photos. So I can say here started the idea of posting MyCarlow blog. I remember very well that sunny day on March 2014. And I will always have sentiment for the ruins of Carlow Castle. I consider they are beautiful.
The fortress was built in the first half of the 13th century.
In the place of a wooden fortified stronghold by William Marshal the elder. In the time period between 1207 and 1213, he spent in Ireland.
The castle in Carlow was the very first of its kind in Ireland. A towered keep, where a huge rectangular tower is surrounded by four smaller three-quarter-circular towers at the corners of the rectangle.
In the following centuries, the castle changed hands many times. Successively ruled by the English kings, FitzGerald and earls Norfolk and Thomond. Bought by the Earl of Thomond in 1616, changed hands multiple times. Until it was taken by Oliver Cromwell in 1650 but was later returned to the Earl of Thomond. When in the 17th century the stronghold lost its strategic significance. It was abandoned and neglected since that time, it began to fall into increasing ruin.
In 1814 the castle was widely destroyed. In an attempt to create more space for the conversion into a lunatic asylum with the help of explosives. Too many explosives were used for the reconstruction, so most of the castle just collapsed.
Today, only two defensive towers and fragments of walls remain from this once impressive fortress.
Therefore Carlow Castle is the oldest stone castle in Ireland and the National Monument of Ireland. National Monument is a legal term for a structure that has been listed for preservation by the Irish State.
The bottom of one of the towers of the Castle was damaged. By the last Storm Ciara in Carlow on 9th February 2020.
Location of Carlow Castle: