South East Ireland Tourism
Travel guide to Ireland's south east
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Carlow Town, Carlow

Carlow stands at the confluence of the Barrow and Burrin rivers. Tradition has it that the junction of the two rivers once formed four lakes. The name 'Carlow' means Four Lakes.

While the river remains an important focus for the town, with a long established Rowing Club and annual regatta, other influences include an international student population, a thriving arts and craft community, a long and lively tradition of Irish language use and culture.

What to see and do in Carlow Town

This ancient town has a rich historic tradition.

The remains of Carlow Castle, built by William de Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, between 1207 and 1213 A.D., stand on the eastern bank of the river. The Carlow County Museum is moving to a new location on College Street in the town. Carlow Courthouse, based on the Temple of llissus in Athens, is considered to be one of the finest in the country. Carlow Cathedral was started in 1828 and completed in 1833, designed by Thomas Cobden based on the Beftroi tower in Bruges, Belgium.

Both the Liberty Tree and the Croppies Grave commemorate the victims of the 1798 rebellion.

Pre-Christian inhabitants left their mark in the form of tomb monuments or dolmens, the largest of which is at Browne's Hill, just outside Carlow town, which has a capstone weighing roughly 130 tonnes.

Golfers can avail of the excellent facilities at the nearby Carlow Golf Club, a beautiful 18-hole parkland course located just over 3 km north of Carlow Town and the Killerig Castle Golf & Country Club.

Eigse - Carlow Arts Festival is a very successful annual (takes place in June) mixed-media art and music festival. The visual art and craft workshops, many exhibitions in addition to street entertainment and a comprehensive musical events line-up have made this a popular and important event.

For cruisers and barges, Ceatharlach Moorings below the lock in Carlow is a fine modern marina with overnight mooring facilities, toilets, showers, telephone, safe docking, pump out and recharging facilities.

Carlow Town Map

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