Architects who worked in Carlow

Some of the buildings featured here were designed by well known architects, others were the work of builders and craftsmen who were skilled in the use of local materials and in the effective interpretation of architects' designs. A number of the most prominent architects who designed properties in Carlow are listed below.

William Deane Butler

William Deane Butler (d.1857) studied under Henry Aaron Baker at the Dublin Society Schools. He was a founder member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland. The design of the Railway Station at Bagenalstown is attributed to him. He also designed Amiens Street Station in Dublin, now Connolly Station.

Thomas A. Cobden

Thomas A. Cobden (d.1842) was the architect of Ducketts Grove. He worked mostly in County Carlow and was the designer of Carlow Cathedral and also Ballykealy house, near Ballon.


Railway station, Bagenalstown

The design for the Railway station at Bagenalstown (Muinebheag) is attributed to William Deane Butler (d. 1857). It is constructed in limestone and granite. The design incorporates a central block with pedimented breakfront, linking arcades and projecting terminal bays. The station platforms have an open shelter resting on paired granite ashlar piers. The station resembles an Italianate Palladian type building.

Carlow County Library

Railway station, Bagenalstown - Carlow County Library

Carlow Cathedral

Work commenced on Carlow Cathedral in 1829 and was completed in 1833. It was designed by Thomas Cobden who also designed Duckett’s Grove. The facade and tower are of granite ashlar and the body of the church is dark limestone. The windows are pointed and have simple granite dressing. It is an early example of neo-gothic design. The tower of over 150 feet high resembles that of the Cloth Hall in Bruges, Belgium. The Cathedral was begun in the year of Catholic Emancipation under the direction of Bishop James Doyle (J.K.L.) Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

Carlow County Library

Carlow Cathedral - Carlow County Library

Oak Park House - rear view

Oak Park Estate now Teagasc Research Institute is situated about two miles from the centre of Carlow town. The photograph shows the rear of the house which looks towards the gardens. On this side the house had three central windows and single-storeyed bow windows to either side. These were situated on the ground floor and were balustraded. To the left of the entrance were found the service wing and the offices.

Carlow County Library

Oak Park House - rear view - Carlow County Library

Railway station, Carlow

Carlow Railway Station was built in 1845 and was designed by Sir John MacNeill. It is located in Carlow Town, on the Dublin – Waterford line. The Station is an example of Jacobean Revival architecture. It comprises a two storey central block and two single storey wings. There are two platforms, a signal box and footbridge and the station also has offices and waiting areas. It is built of yellow brick with granite features particularly in the window dressings and drip moulds.

Carlow County Library

Railway station, Carlow - Carlow County Library

Adelaide Memorial Church, Myshall, Co Carlow

The Adelaide Memorial Church of Christ the Redeemer is situated near the village of Myshall, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. The architect was George Coppinger Ashlin. The Church was designed in the style of Salisbury Cathedral with one tower and spire. It is built mostly of limestone and some local granite. It was erected circa 1903 in an ornate gothic revival style. There is richly carved detail on the extension including a frieze and the tower has a balustraded parapet. The interior is ornately decorated with black marble steps from Galway and red granite pillars from Aberdeen. The design of the floor in the chancel is based on St. Mark’s Venice. The interior also features decorations in mosaic and mother of pearl. It was built in memory of Constance Duguid who died tragically in 1880’s at the time of her engagement to the heir of the Cornwall-Brady estate of Myshall. It also commemorates her mother who died later. The Adelaide Memorial Church can be visited today in its original glory.

Carlow County Library

Adelaide Memorial Church, Myshall, Co Carlow - Carlow County Library

William Vitruvius Morrison

William Vitruvius Morrison (1794 - 1838) was born in Clonmel. He assisted his father, Richard Morrison, from about 1809. He visited Rome in 1821and also spent some time in Paris. However, his visit to England was of the greatest importance for his development as an architect, particularly his knowledge of the Tudor style. In the late 1820's William worked on court house design for Tralee and Carlow. In 1832 he was commissioned by Henry Bruen to remodel Oak Park (Painestown) near Carlow town. He also worked with his father on several country houses including Borris House, Co. Carlow.

Sir John Benjamin MacNeill

Sir John Benjamin MacNeill (1793-1880) was born at Mount Pleasant near Dundalk, Co. Louth. He was the first professor of engineering at Trinity College Dublin between 1842 and 1852. In 1860 he was appointed a railway engineer. He was responsible for the design of Carlow Railway Station.

George Coppinger Ashlin

George Coppinger Ashlin (1837-1921) was born in Co Cork. He received his early education in Liege. In 1858 he was articled to E.W. Pugin, and entered the Royal Academy Schools in London. He became a partner of E.W. Pugin and worked with him on many ecclesiastical designs. His greatest work is St. Coleman's Cathedral in Cobh, completed in 1919. He also designed the Adelaide Memorial Church near Myshall, Co Carlow.

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