Carlow Castle

Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny

Built by William Marshal on the site of an earlier Norman motte-and-bailey fort, this 13-century castle survived Cromwell's attentions. Much of the fortress was demolished in 1814, when it was converted into a lunatic asylum. The evocative portion that survives is part of the keep flanked by two towers, but now overlooks a modern apartment block rather than the river it used to defend.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny attractions

1. Carlow County Museum

0.34 MILES

Housed in an atmospheric former convent with original stained-glass windows, this thoroughly engaging museum focuses on the lives of local people through…

2. Carlow Cathedral

0.35 MILES

This elegant Regency Gothic cathedral dating from 1833 was the brainchild of Bishop James Doyle, a staunch supporter of Catholic emancipation. On the…

3. Visual Centre for Contemporary Art

0.41 MILES

British architect Terry Pawson was behind the factory-inspired industrial design of this concrete, steel-and-glass cultural centre, which is a…

4. Delta Sensory Gardens

0.74 MILES

These 16 interconnecting, themed gardens span the five senses – from a sculpture garden to a formal rose garden, a water and woodland garden, a willow…

5. Browne's Hill Dolmen

2.32 MILES

This 5000-year-old granite portal dolmen (tomb chamber) is one of Ireland's most famous prehistoric monuments, sporting the largest capstone in Europe (it…

6. Killeshin Church

2.68 MILES

One of the tallest round towers in Ireland once dominated this former monastery, but it was destroyed early in the 18th century by a farmer worried that…

7. Duckett's Grove

5.39 MILES

Dominated by the jackdaw-haunted ruins of a Gothic fantasy of a country house, the former seat of the Duckett family (the house burned down in 1933) was…

8. Castledermot Monastery

6.51 MILES

Castledermot village was once home to a vast ecclesiastical settlement, but all that remains of St Diarmuid's 9th-century monastery is a 20m round tower…