24 July-Muine Bheag (Bagenalstown) Railway Station

Muine Bheag, also known as Bagenalstown is a town with a population of around 3,000 on the River Barrow in Co Carlow, Ireland. The town was founded by Walter Bagenal (1670-1745) of nearby Dunleckney Manor. It is said that he modelled the town, which is built overlooking the River Barrow, on Versailles in France. The town is unusual in Ireland in that, with its wide streets, it is planned to a grid. It has several landmark buildings including the Railway Station, St Mary’s Church and St Andrews Church. One of the most unusual buildings in the town is the courthouse building. It was erected by Philip Bagenal (1796-1856) great-grandson of Walter and is modelled on the Parthenon in Athens. The front of the courthouse with its granite columns faces away from main-street and overlooks the river Barrow.

The opening of the Barrow canal in the late 18th century had for time a significant impact on the development of Bagenalstown and by 1837 the town had a population of 1,315. However with the arrival of the railway in 1848 the town began to expand significantly. The railway line from Dublin to Carlow was extended southwards towards Kilkenny and a station, which was then called Bagnalstown was opened. In 1910 the station was renamed Bagenalstown and the name changed again to Muine Bheag station in 1988.

It was decided in 1854 to construct a railway from Bagnalstown to Borris. Carlow MP, Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh of Borris House, was a strong supporter of the project. When the Bagenalstown & Wexford railway line opened the station at Bagenalstown became a junction. Though the line to Wexford was closed in 1963, Bagenalstown continues to operate as a station on the inter-city service between the cities of Dublin and Waterford.

Muine Bheag (Bagnalstown) railway station opened in the year 1848 On This Day.

River Barrow photo

Market Square, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, late 19th century

Photo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Barrow River, Ireland by eutrophication&hypoxia on 2010-05-11 08:27:12

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *