St. Dympna’s Hospital

St. Dymphna’s Hospital (formerly Carlow Lunatic Asylum) is a psychiatric hospital located in Carlow Town.

The hospital was designed by Francis Johnston. And opened as the Carlow District Lunatic Asylum in 1832. Further, it became Carlow Mental Hospital in 1925. Then, having been re-named St. Dympna’s Hospital, after St. Dympna, the patron saint of mental illness in 1958. Then, it was taken over by the Department of Health in 1971. After the introduction of deinstitutionalization in the late 1980s the hospital went into a period of decline. Kelvin Grove, a modern residential unit for adult clients with learning difficulties, opened on the site in 2008. The main hospital closed in October 2011. Services include outpatient clinics, daycare facilities, addiction counseling, and a community hostel. – Wikipedia

Besides, St. Dymphna’s Hospital building is impressive. Over the center is an octagonal clock tower and dome which are set on a square base. There is also a small park and St. Dymphna’s chapel.

Saint Dymphna is the patron saint of those who suffers from mental illnesses. And nervous system disorders, epileptics, mental health professionals, incest victims, and runaways.

So, Dymphna was born in Clogher, Co. Monaghan in the year c.620 and beheaded by her father Damon in Belgium. He was a pagan Irish chief in the 7th century. Then, at the age of 14 years, her mother died and she went to Belgium with some of her friends. The reason she was beheaded by her father was that she refused to return to Ireland with him. So he could marry her because he couldn’t find anyone who could take his wife’s place.

What`s more, the hospital is situated on extensive grounds between Athy Road and Old Dublin Road. There is also an old church on the grounds of St Dymphna’s Hospital. The church is at present being converted into the County Carlow Military Museum.

Location of St. Dympna’s Hospital:


Blogger. Volunteer. Enthusiast of photography, nature, architecture, and cultural events. Since 2014 living in County Carlow in Ireland.

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