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Carlow – Once the capital of Ireland (1361-1374)

Carlow is located in the south-east of Ireland, approximately 52 miles from the capital (Dublin) and for a brief period in history (1361-1374) was itself the capital under King Richard II (also known as the Lordship of Ireland).

Humans first occupied the area thousands of years ago, evidence of which can be found at the prehistoric Browneshill Dolmen site (a couple of miles east of Carlow town).

Carlow has seen its fair share of battles and conflicts over the centuries, including The Battle of Glenmalure, the Desmond Rebellions and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.

Reasons to visit Carlow

The Browneshill Dolmen, also spelt “Brownshill” and officially known as the Kernanstown Cromlech, is a megalithic portal tomb and was built between 4000 and 3000 BC. This remarkable tomb is made up of a number of stones which support a capstone estimated to weigh around 100 metric tons. It is believed to be the heaviest in Europe. The tomb has never been excavated, so little is known about the contents of the burial chamber.

Only a small portion of Carlow Castle remains, which was built in the early 13th century, most of the remainder was destroyed following an attempt in 1814 to turn the building into a lunatic asylum. However, the surviving section (the western wall and two towers) has become the centrepiece of a new development.

Other attractions in Carlow include Altamont Gardens, Huntingdon Castle, Ballymoon Castle, Kildreenagh and the Southern County Fishing and Wildlife Park.

Entertainment and Dining in Carlow

If you are looking for a nightclub you might try The Foundry, or the Teach Dolman for live music. For gamblers there is the Casino Atlantis, or you can just enjoy a few pints in the local pubs. Restaurants include Mulberrys, Chinese food at Joe’s and Italian food at the Pompei.

Accommodation in Carlow

There is the usual accommodation available in Carlow, including hotels like The Talbot, the Seven Oaks Hotel, Killerig Resort and others.