Barrow Navigation

In response to Carlow’s growing prosperity in the eighteenth century, improved transportation networks were required. The River Barrow navigation was initiated in the 1750s – canalising unnavigable stretches of the river, thus allowing produce to be transported in bulk to new markets and to the coast for export. Weirs, mills, malthouses, bridges and lock keeper’s houses are still evident along the course of the Barrow Navigation.

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Railway

The improvement of the road network and the construction of the Great Southern and Western Railway, during the nineteenth century, diminished the importance of river and canal transport. The establishment of the railway had a profound effect on the rural and urban landscapes of County Carlow. Bridges, viaducts, railway stations and other subsidiary structures were built at this time, some of which were executed in ornate architectural styles, such as the railway station at Muine Bheag.

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Corner-towered houses

A curiosity of the county is a number of small dwellings with a circular plan stair tower. A number of them were built as police barracks, whilst others were built as estate buildings.

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Country Houses

The importance of Carlow as an agricultural county is reflected in its many fine country houses and large farmhouses. The owners of these houses, engaged their architects and builders to explore a number of fashionable architectural styles, such as, classical, gothic, and tudor.

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