Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Hotels and Inns
Carlow Town

The Cather Inn", it was known for the next 300 years as "Barnaby's Inn. ln 1617 Sir Barnaby O'Brien and his wife Mary Farmer were granted a licence to keep taverns and to make and sell wines and spirits in the "fair, thriving and flourishing" town of Carlow. According to the Marlborough Clarke Douglas papers, (1851-1923), the location of what is now 112 Tullow Street was where one of the inns was established. Named in 1618 "The Cather Inn", it was known to Carlovian’s for almost the next 300 years as "Barnaby's Inn". J.J. McDonald acquired the premises and in 1900, placed a sign in the window stating, "Barnaby's out, McDonalds in!".

The Globe Inn. Dublin Street (now Lamberts Newsagency).
The Globe Inn. The late Mr. Marlborough Douglas wrote of it as follows:-" The houses now occupied by Mrs. McElwee and Mr. Joseph Cunningham formed one house known as "The Globe Inn." It was probably the principal Inn of the town in the 17th century.
In old Deeds it is styled 'a stone house ' to distinguish it from the thatched houses. In 1699 it was evidently re-modelled; a stone tablet on the front of the house bears in relief WJR 1699. The date is that of the renovation of the house; the letters are the initials of the then occupants, Jonathan and Ruth Watson, the gentleman, in accordance with the chivalrous usage of the time, joining the initial of his wife's Christian name with his own."
No Photo available The “Bluebell Inn’’ was the first coaching inn in Carlow on the road from Dublin. This inn was acquired by the Railway Company when the line was built and had to be demolished as it stood in the way. A house, the present Bluebell, was built in its place some 30 yards nearer the town.
Victoria Hotel
In 1697 Thomas Spaight built an inn on this site of No. 1 Tullow Street, Carlow, known as 'Ye signe of ye Tea Kettle'.  Some 200 years later this was the site of the Victoria Hotel and some time in the 1890's it became Ogle's Hotel.
Images source from: The Nationalist Centenary Supplement 1883-1983
County Club House & Commercial Hotel
Whitmore’s Hotel also known as County Club House & Commercial Hotel which is now known as St Brigid's Nursing Home located in Court Place at the top of Dublin Street. Also known as Carlow Club and Posting House owned by Samuel Whitmore, Dublin-street. In 1857 Mr. Whitmore had his Hotel sold by public auction and was purchased by one Arthur Barrow, who continued to uphold the good name of the Hotel.
Images source from: The Nationalist Centenary Supplement 1883-1983
Ogle's Hotel
Ogle's Hotel. No. 1 Tullow Street, Carlow
Images source from: The Nationalist Centenary Supplement 1883-1983
Fly-Boat Hotel which was on the banks of the River Barrow

Images source from: The Nationalist Centenary Supplement 1883-1983

Royal Arms Hotel. Cullen's Hotel which was owned by Mr. James Cullen, situated at 12, Dublin-Street which was also know as The Royal Arms Hotel c.1899 (picture) The Queens Arms Hotel and finally The Royal Hotel. These premises have since been demolished.
Tynan’s Commercial & Family Hotel, 130-131 Tullow St. was opened in the 1850's. and advertised that it was unbeatable for its excellent cuisine and extensive Grillroom. It was renowned for its large Ballroom, Lounge and Supper Rooms, the largest in South Leinster. M. J. Dease, the proprietor’s nephew, was the manager. It was replaced by the Ritz Cinema.
 Source: Nationalist Directory of Carlow of 1888 Adverts.
Original Inn has been demolished. The Red Cow Inn. 8 Tullow Street Carlow c.1700. See Thomond Leases c.1700
James Cullen 10-13 Dublin Street, Carlow. This became known as The Royal Hotel (see above)
Adverts from the Nationalist c.1888
Bolger's Hotel which later became The Munster & Leinster Bank on 34-35 Tullow Street  The building was demolished in 1973 to make way for an Irish Bank.
Richard Read & Co
35. College Street, Carlow.
Adverts from the Nationalist c.1888
The Green Dragon Inn
The Green Dragon Inn c.1957 which used to be on the Kilkenny Road where the Carlow IT College is today. (Photo by Donald Godfrey)
Image source: Carloviana 2005 edition. p59
Shirley's Hotel
Shirley's Hotel, now Ewings Bar, "The Swan", Haymarket, (4 Centaur Street) Carlow.
Source: The Nationalist Centenary Supplement 1883-1983.
Note below from Sheila Scowcroft Nov 2012:
'Robert M Collier bought the hotel 31 December 1913 to house his growing family, but had to maintain the license. He created a bar in the room whose window is to the left of the front door in the picture and a grocery shop in the room to the right. When he died in 1926 his wife Ruby continued the business whilst bringing up their 10 children. Their son Robert A Collier eventually took it over. Anyone drinking Guinness there until about 1970 would know that the official address is 4 Centaur Street because it was printed in the center of every label to show that was where it had been bottled. When Robert A sold the business to Ewings about 1975 he had already closed the grocery section and converted the whole ground floor into a bar. 'As a related item you might be interested to know that the deed of 1913 quotes an Indenture of Lease dated 30 November 1848 indicating that the land of the current Town-hall was the property of Robert Ferralls Brewery.
Source: 'An email from a granddaughter of Robert M and Ruby Collier with support from the daughter of Robert A.'
This picture  from my own collection of the Crofton Hotel taken sometime in the late c.1950's.
Greenbank House, Athy Road, Carlow was the home of the Haughton family. Later, Michael Molloy M.P. lived here. At the time this picture was taken it had become The Crofton Hotel and was a popular entertainment venue in the town. The entrance (pictured above) was formally the cellar, but the ground was lowered in the 1960's to add another story to the hotel. This hotel changed its name in 1976/77 to the Oakland Hotel and then changed it back again a couple of years later to the Crofton. Today it is known as The Seven Oaks Hotel.
The Plough Whelan's 'The Plough'. 79, 80 & 81 Tullow Street. The gateway leads to the coal yard and livery stables which could accommodate up to 15 horses. No 79 is the Family Grocery complete with Ladies Snug. The man standing in the doorway is the barman Mr. Capo O'Connor.
The Jolly Farmer
The Jolly Farmer -a public house since 1769 and in the Reddy family since 1880s. Today its known as Reddy's. on Tullow Street. Source: YouTube
McHugh's Courthouse Hotel is located on 38/39 Dublin Street in Carlow's town centre. This was originally known as Sheaf of Wheat and later on it became Jackson's pub. The Sheaf of Wheat and the Wheat Sheaf would not have been trading in the town at the same time due to the similarity of the names. Source: Michael Purcell.
Yellow Lion Inn on Burrin Street, which was situated in Burrin Street dates back to 1761, when it had as proprietor one William Montgomery who was also Carlow's town Sergeant. The Yellow Lion was often referred to as Lennon's Inn after Elizabeth Lennon who proceeded Montgomery as the owner. Source: Carlow Advertiser, Thursday 28th April 1983
Both 58 & 59 Dublin Street were once Stagecoach Inns known as The Crown & Scepter, The Beare Inn and The Blackamoor Head Inn.
The Beare Inn is mentioned in according to Thomond Leases c.1700.
Today the Blackamoor continues under the name
"The Beams".
Source of images: Dermot O'Brien
No image available Commercial Hotel c.1846 owned by Rose and John Carpenter, Burrin Street.
Thomas Hanlon in Burrin Street c.1846.
White Lion Inn owned by Whelan James, Burrin St c.1870.
Bridge Hotel on Abbey Street, Tullow c.1895
Nolan's Railway Hotel, Dublin Road, (now The Irishman's Pub where George Bernard Shaw stayed.
Image from Carlow in Old Picture Postcards' by Michael Purcell.
Carpenters Bar on Barrack Street c2006
This is where all the farmers, drovers and buyers went drinking and dealing on a fair day in Carlow. It was the nearest public house to the fair green
Convent of Mercy c.1905
In 1786 there stood on the site of the Convent of Mercy, Carlow a building known as the Mail Coach Hotel. The camera was unknown in those days, and I don't think any sketch of it, if such was ever made, has been preserved.

An old photo of Brown Street looking towards Dublin Street, Source: Carloviana. 1957.
Imperial Hotel in Brown street was owned by Mr. Pat O'Toole and was known as the “Imperial Hotel.” In 1895 Mr. O’Toole put up for auction the “Imperial Hotel,” Carriage Mart and Old Dispensary house adjoining, all of which are held under lease for the lives of the Prince of Wales and the Dukes of Sax-Coburg-Gotha and Connaught and of the survivors and survivor of them at the almost nominal rent of £20 per annum on which the landlord allows half the Poor Rates.  Source: Carloviana. 1957.
Ward's Hotel in Hotel Street,
Bagenalstown c.1911
Royal Hotel Ballroom
Dublin Street.
Source of images: Dermot O'Brien
No. 14  Dublin Street is the location of the Red Setter Guest House currently owned by Gary Feeney (2010).
Shamrock Hotel - 71 Tullow Street.
Advert from 1888.
Shamrock Hotel advert c.1913

Substitute image
Wheat Sheaf InnBurrin Street. c.1840's
Just a few doors away from the Yellow Lion in Burrin Street, and in close competition was the Wheat Sheaf Inn which opened not long after the Yellow Lion and was still in existence when the Yellow Lion closed it's doors as a Hotel and re-opened as the Carlow Police Barracks in 1840. Thomas Coffey was the proprietor and his proud boast in 1794 was "I have furnished myself with commodious carriages, stout horses and careful drivers". Later on when the Hotel was under the ownership of James Coffey - presumably the former proprietors son, Daniel O'Connell had his committee rooms here, before and during the controversial elections of the 1840's
Source: Carlow Advertiser, Thursday 28th April 1983
Mount Leinster Arms Hotel in Bagenalstown was a very popular venue in the 1960s has now been demolished and replaced by an apartment block
Image Source: Liam Breathneach on Facebook.
Red Crown Inn, Masters / Scooly No 8 Dublin Street Eastside. (now Brennan's Butchers). This Extract was found in the Carlow, The Manor & Town 1674-1721 by Thomas King (1997).p.50 & 51.

Original No 11 building has been demolished.
White Horse Inn, Smith / Quigley No 11 Dublin Street. Eastside. This Extract was found in the Carlow, The Manor & Town 1674-1721 by Thomas King (1997).p.50 & 51.

There were approximately 29 pubs in Carlow Town in the 1940's:
Bergin, P.C. Dublin St. King Mrs., Tullow St.
Bolger James, Brown St. Lawler Thos., Tullow St
Byrne, John, The Quay McDermotts, Tullow St
Byrne P. Tullow st McDonald T., Castle St.
Carpenter Bros, Barrack St McDonnell M., Tullow St
Clerkin T. Haymarket McDonnell D., Tullow St
Collier Mrs. Haymarket McDonnell M., Haymarket
Delaney M.J., Tullow St. McEvoy J., Tullow St
Dillons Temperance Hotel, 18 Dublin St McWay Miss., Wellington Sq
Donnelly G., Tulow St. Neavyn J., Haymarket
Doyle Ml., Tullow St. Nolan M., Dublin Rd
Finegan P., Tullow St O'Neill John, 9 Coal Market
Governey M., Wellington Sq. Russell Mrs, Coal Market
Hickey J., Tullow St Reddys Hotel, Tullow St.
Hyland J., Burrin St Royal Hotel, Dublin St.
Jackson, Dublin St Twomey & Son, Tullow St.

Source: Anna Nolan Gough 2012


This is just a small selection of the Inns and Hotels which were operating in Carlow town and County around the 18th & 19th centuries'.  I'm sure we will find some more in due course.

If you have any information about the Inns and Hotels of Carlow that you would like to see included on this page then please email me with the details and if you include an image or a newspaper cutting that would be even better still.  Email:

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