One of the greatest attraction in County Carlow is Duckett`s Grove. I highly recommend visiting this amazing place. It makes a great impression. Also this is the most photogenic place in entire of County Carlow.
Duckett’s Grove is the ruins of the house of the Duckett family. It was built in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. It was built on a plot of 12,000 acres (49 km2) belonging to the family.
This is one of the finest example of gothic architecture. Its numerous surviving towers are visible from afar and create a very romantic profile, which just makes it one of the most photogenic historic buildings in the County. It is looks like a castle.
Duckett’s Grove is located in a quiet rural area of the Palatine. It is a few miles from Carlow town, outside of Hacketstown and Baltinglass Road.
It is hard to find any specific, documented information about this house. It is believed that its history began with a man named Thomas Duckett, who came from Grayrigg in Westmoreland and bought land here in 1695. Then his successors increased the family estate and expanded the house.
Many architects developing the house for 300 years. One of them was Thomas Alfred Cobden, who previously designed churches and public buildings in a variety of styles. And he probably at the request of the client, designed numerous towers, battlements, arches and niches, windows with bay windows of Ducketts Grove. As decorations he placed numerous busts, urns and sculptures, some of them on the walls of the building, some free-standing. It seems that all available decorative motifs has been used in Ducketts house.
Further work was carried out in 1840 by another architect, who in turn designed huge granite gates as the entrance to the property. And subsequent designers added more towers, columns, statues scattered throughout the area, carved in stone, cast from bronze, on various subjects, from the royal lion and unicorn to griffins, centurions, or grotesque heads decorated with snakes.
It has survived great entrance gate to Duckett’s Grove. The Duckett family crest is located directly above the main arch of this gate.
All this resulted in the construction of a fairy-tale-like, fantastic atmosphere. In addition, surrounded by beautiful gardens, full of various species of trees, flowering shrubs, perennials and flowers, also exotic.
Unfortunately the 20th century turned out to be very unkind for the estate. In April 1933 a fire broke out here, for unknown reasons, which largely destroyed the buildings. And subsequent owners and property managers significantly depleted them by demolishing many buildings. But still this what remains from Duckett`s house is impressive.
In September 2005 Carlow County Council purchased the property and work began to secure what was left to make the area available for public use and make it one of the region’s main tourist attractions.
Ducketts Grove should be visited not only by lovers of history and beautiful architecture, but also should be visited by lovers of paranormal phenomena. Because this property is listed among the most haunted houses and castles of Ireland. Maybe someone will meet here a Banshee. Apparently she is visiting the house of Ducketts Grove. According to legend, this woman-ghost is a “guardian of the family”, but also heralding a death. Banshee is often described as a women wearing white or gray robes who combe hers long, fair hair. Some Irish legends say that she can appear in any form, like animal or bird.
At Duckett’s Grove there is a large parking lot for cars and buses. There are also toilets, adapted for the disabled and Tea Room.
Access: from Castledermot on the R418 road to Tullow for 6 km. Turn right at the intersection (an information board will show you the direction); from Carlow on the R726 Hacketstown road 10 km to Killerig Cross Roads, then turn left at the intersection, head towards R418 – 2.5 km, turn left (information board, will indicate the finish line).
Duckett`s Grove can be visited from April to October: daily from 10 am to 17:30, the rest of the year from 10 am to 16 pm, free admission.
Location of Duckett`s Grove: