Carlow Castle has a large rectangular three-story limestone keep with circular towers at each angle. The castle dates from the early 13th century. It was built by William Marshal the elder in the time period between 1207 and 1213 which he spent in Ireland. The castle in Carlow was the very first of its kind in Ireland.

The castle was handed over to the crown in 1306, granted in 1312 to Thomas Plantagenet, confiscated by the crown in 1537 as the landlords were absent, bought by the Earl of Thomond in 1616, changed hands multiple times until it was taken by Oliver Cromwell in 1650 but was later returned to the Earl of Thomond. In 1814 the castle was widely destroyed in an attempt to create more space for the conversion into a lunatic asylum with the help of explosives. Just the outer face of the west wall and the two neighbouring towers could be preserved.

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Mill Lane 6, Carlow, Ireland
See all sites in Carlow

Details

Founded: 1207-1213
Category: Castles and fortifications in Ireland

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Anthony Moran (3 months ago)
A beautiful castle ruin that badly needs repairing for safety. You can no longer get to close to it as parts of the tower are unstable.
Arrianne Ivyr Rozario (4 months ago)
This is practically it. The good thing is it's in the town so you can enjoy a walk and explore their town which is quite nice. People are friendly and always happy to give directions. Some even share a bit of history.
mick monaghan (6 months ago)
Nice but has scaffolding surrounding it
Hrvoje Lasic (6 months ago)
Completely nothing worth to see, boring!
Shane Mann (2 years ago)
Beautiful castle remains, nice amount of information to read as well. Looks very pretty in the dark
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Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

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Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

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