On the way to Clogrennan Wood, you will see this beautiful arch. Lovely setting beside the River Barrow – this is the remains of the ancient Clogrennane Castle. Located about two miles distant from Carlow town.
Thus, the Castle was built sometime in the 15th century. To defend a pass that wound along between the River Barrow and the extensive woodlands along the sides of the Killeshin Hills. Believed to be in ruins since the 18th century, and in the 19th century, converted into the entrance to the then-newly built Clogrennane House, the seat of the Rochfort family. The ruins bear little resemblance to the original Castle and seem to incorporate stone from a nearby ancient church.
Moreover, Clogrennan was formerly an estate owned by the Dukes of Ormonde of Kilkenny Castle.
Then, from the mid-seventeenth century the Rochforts, a distinguished family owned a 3,000-acre estate based around Clogrennan.
Built in the early 19th century the now ruined home of the Rochfort family was described in 1825 as a house of modern erection and distinguished beauty. Besides, all the materials for the building came from the area – limestone, granite, timber, marble, and shale for the roof. It was the building of the house that led to financial ruin for the Rochforts. Also, noted for its large ballroom and hosting regular parties. The last ball was held in January 1922 just before the house was sold. It has been roofless since 1945.
What`s more, near the ivy-covered ruin of the old castle, a tunnel has been discovered and is said to connect Clogrennan Castle with White’s Castle (the modern house on Graiguecullen Bridge is built on the site of this castle) and Carlow Castle.
Below are photos I took in March 2021.