05 September-Duckett’s Grove, Carlow

Duckett’s Grove lies a few miles east of Carlow town, Ireland. Situated on what was once a 5,000 hectare estate it was the home of the Duckett family during the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. Duckett’s Grove House was destroyed in a fire on April 20th 1933. The ruined gothic style mansion, with its walled gardens and surrounding grounds were purchased by Carlow County Council in 2005. Though the house remains a ruin extensive restoration has been carried out. The walled gardens and pleasure grounds are now open to the public and have become a major visitor attraction.

In the late 1600’s the Duckett family purchased land in Carlow, on which they later built a large two-storey house. In the early 1800’s John Duckett employed Thomas Cobden to update the house in Gothic style. Cobden designed many public buildings, private residences and churches in the Carlow/Wexford area including Carlow Cathedral. As a result of Cobden’s work Duckett’s Grove was transformed into a Gothic revival building. It has several towers and turrets varying in shape and size which have recesses containing statues.

In 1908 William Duckett, the last male of the Duckett family died. His wife and her daughter lived at Duckett’s Grove until they moved to Dublin in 1916. The estate, for a time, was managed by an agent. It was eventually bought by the Land Commission and the land divided among local farmers. In 1931 the house and surrounding grounds, extending to about 5 hectares were bought by Frederick Thompson of Hanover Works (Thompson Engineering). Some of the buildings on the grounds of Duckett’s Grove were demolished and the granite ashlar was used in the building of Bishop Foley National School on Station Road in Carlow town.

For almost seventy years the buildings and grounds at Duckett’s Grove were largely neglected until purchased by Carlow County Council. Apart from the restoration work on the gardens and grounds, Carlow County Council has also installed various facilities in the stables to the rear of the house. These include, Tea Rooms and Ducketts Grove Design -Craft and Gift Emporium. Due to what were described as ‘unexplained phenomena’ a live broadcast of an episode of the paranormal television series Destination Truth was made from Duckett’s Grove on St Patrick’s day 2011. Killarney Paranormal Society has also carried out investigations at the castle.

Carlow County Council took possession of Duckett’s Grove in the year 2005 On This Day.

Ducketts Grove photo

Duckett’s Grove

Photo by NedKinsella

Ducketts Grove photo

Walled garden entrance, Duckett’s Grove

Photo by NedKinsella

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