Traders in Tullow Street, Carlow



Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Tullow Street


Source: 1. "Up Tullow Street" an article in The Advertiser by Michael Purcell c 1992. Carlow in Old Pictures & Carlow in Old Pictures Vol 2 by Michael Purcell & The Official Guide to Carlow 1985-86.
2. Tullow Street by Michael Purcell - The Nationalist Aug 25 2006
Additional edits by M. Brennan

Carlow from 1824 - 2006.

Tullow Street

Tullow Street has been an integral part in the history and development of Carlow town and county since 1824. Local historian Michael Purcell has tracked the history of the famous street through the ages and remembers those whose lives will be forever linked with the thoroughfare

A large number of shopkeepers have come and gone over the past hundred years or more. Below are listed just a few of the traders who provided various goods and services to the people of Carlow and surrounding areas over the past One hundred and Eighty years or more.

Barbara O'Farrell. - Bakery
Michael Crotty - Bakery
George O'Brien - Coach Builder
Richard Pauls - Brewery
James Molloy - Public House
Cather Inn
Presentation Convent
Kizi Cassidy
Mr Vaux - Bakery
Byrnes - Butchers
Hendersons 'Old Scoth House' - Milliners & Linen Manufacturers
Daniel Muldowney - Tallow Chandler
Richardsons - Haberdashers
James Saunders - Leather seller (He was so deaf his customers had to write down their orders on a slate).
Marian Turner - Straw Bonnet Maker
Scraggs family
Nolans - Soda Water Manufactures
John Ivers - Woolen Shop
Molly McAssey - Haberdashery
Tynan's - Pawnbroker
Spong's - Seed Merchants
Douglas's - Jewellers (Est 1880)
Grahams - Public House
Victoria Hotel

Carlow 1869

Two shops which stood next door to each other on Tullow Street, No. 115 which was owned by Tom Conway Shoe & Lace maker and No. 114 which was owned by Pat Lennon who was a Butcher and Tanner, were both burnt down at the same time on the same day.  The ironic part about this story is that both men also lost their lives as a result of the fire.  Both these shops were situated in between Molly McAssey's Haberdashery and Johnny Gorman who were unaffected by the fire.

Tullow Street c2006
Image by W. Muldowney

Tullow St, Carlow

1 Tullow Street - ERA McCormack’s are the latest business to move into this spot after Paul’s Bookshop closed in 2004.  In the middle of the last century this was a Saddlers & Tanners owned by John Brennan.  Some time later it became the property of James Morris, Wine & Spirit Merchant.  James Morris was a Quaker and his house was used as a meeting place for the Society of Friends.  Margaret Connors, Straw Bonnet maker, lived in the cellar for which she paid a rent of 1/- a week. (current day equivalent 5p).  Morris sold to James Ogle who established Ogle Hotel there. This was also the site of the Victoria Hotel before Ogle's. After the hotel closed the premises was acquired by M. Richards who opened a Hardware store.  Richards also owned an Iron foundry where Dooley Motors is now.  Mulhalls were also owners at one time then came Gillespie's who had a Hardware Store and when they moved to larger premises it was taken over by Paul O'Neill (Paul's Bookshop).

(The above photo appeared in Michael Purcell's article on Tullow Street - August 25th 2006 in The Nationalist).

2, Tullow Street - Sherwood's occupies this location now but in 1992 it was owned by Byrne’s Electrical store, (until recently, located at Burrin Street).

3 Tullow Street - The Knick Knack shop.

4 Tullow Street -  Fraziers Diner. William Jackson had an Earthenware shop and he was replaced by James Cullen the Drapers. George Cripps who was a Harness dealer ran his business from this shop. Henry Dyer ran a Watchmakers business here.
Later Thomas Murphy (Town Commissioner and many years Chairman of the Urban Council) bought numbers 2, 3 & 4 Tullow Street and opened a large drapery store selling Irish manufactured goods as a speciality. Thomas Murphy was the first to install large plate glass windows on his premises in Carlow.
  Melvilles carried on the same type of trade until recently when the shop was purchased by Gerry Byrne and Michael Shanahan, property developers, and divided the store into three modern shop units comprising of Byrnes Electrical, The Knock Knack shop and Fraziers Diner.

The picture shows us the sales rush in 1957 curtsey of 'Carloman'.

Nothings changed!




All three shops number's 2, 3 & 4 were all amalgamated in 2006 into one large Electrical shop known as "Sherwoods Electrical Goods". Sherwoods, a family run business established in 1953.

5 Tullow Street - Tullow Street - was once occupied by Frances Nolan a book-seller and seeds man. He was replaced by James Herson, butcher and afterwards George Douglas - Watchmaker & Jeweller (also sold Gramophones & Gramophones Records). Now Ken Tuckers Jewellery shop is still busily trading under the name Douglas Jewellers.
Like most of the shops in Tullow Street, these premises have a colourful history going back many, many years.  We learned for instance, that in the course of the demolition work in 1960 which led up to the reconstruction scheme three arches were revealed on the facade.  These spanned the frontage , and were apparently separate arches leading to a coach yard of houses which presumably were built after the 1798 rebellion when the whole of Tullow Street was burned down.
The name Douglas has been synonymous with jewellery business for more than one hundred years. In 1850 a man named Douglas opened a jeweller's shop in the premises on the opposite side of the street but slightly lower down, now occupied by Tully Sports shop.
About thirty years later in 1880, the present site was acquired by an ancestor of the late Mr. George Douglas. This business was continued until the death of Mr. George Douglas in 1951 and in the following summer the shop was bought by the present owners.
Douglas was appointed agent in 1902 for - the "Talking Machine" which he advertised as "The Gramophone" - sings, talks and makes music for 26/- = 26 shillings (equivalent to about 30 pence sterling today).

6 Tullow Street - Mac's Menswear was originally Rozen Adams, Boot and Shoe makers.  It was rebuilt in 1860 when it became Boltons, Ironmongers and Timber merchants, who also owned No's. 147 & 101 Tullow Street. It then became Igoes, delph store and after that it became Dillon's, "Tea and Homemade Cake Shop".  It was established as a men's outfitters by the late Evan McDonald and is presently owned by Tommy McDonald who also owns Detail Clothing in Potato Market and Top Gear in Tullow Street.

7 Tullow Street - Below  is an image of  a rare example of an early nineteenth century shop front.

BUZZ’S was originally owned by Marian Turner, “Trimming and Fancy Warehouse”. It passed to the ownership of Catherine & Dan McDonnell who was a spirit dealer and also owned No 146 Tullow Street and a licensed premises in Haymarket. No 7 has remained in the ownership of her descendants for over 120 years until it was bought by Tully’s and named Buzz’s Pub and Snooker Hall.

8, 9, 10 & 11 Tullow Street - Shaws Department Store was once owned by Edward Hammond, Grocer and Tea Dealer. He purchased No. 9 from John Ivers, Linen and Woollen Dealer and then he purchased No. 10 from James Murphy, Provisions shop, and obtained a spirit licence.  On the death of Edward the property passed to John Hammond M.P.T.C., and afterwards to Gerald Donnelly.  It now forms part of Shaws Department Store.  The licence was transferred up Tullow Street to what became "The Barrow Lounge".  Shaws purchased No. 11 which passed from Patrick Tracey, Bootmaker, to Jackson's, Ironmonger and later Browne's, Provision Store.

12 Tullow Street – At one time c.1842 -1846 Thomas Tracey had a Leather Shop and shared with George Faircloth, Glass Merchant. It then became Joe O'Brien's Licensed Premises & Grocer sometime in 1894 and it then passed to Mansfield's and the it passed to John Hoseys and after that it was acquired by Jas Bolger, Optician, who opened a Medical Hall c.1929. Mrs Bolger was a sister of Fr. T. Burbage P.P. Tinryland, the Patriot Priest, Scholar and close friend of DeValera. Bolgers transferred to Corrs Chemist which was once again changed to Corrs Photography and Gift Shop. Currently its Scraggs Alley and Back Door Restaurant. In 1901 it was occupied by Mary Anne Byrne (Widow) who ran a Grocers shop and in 1911 it was occupied by Samuel Sparkes from Wexford and is listed as a Store Keeper in the Census.

13 Tullow Street - EUROPRICE was Ruddock’s Newsagency before James Walsh, bootmaker, took over then P Murphy watchmaker and finally Hodges paper shop. During Ruddock’s time the premises was a sort of unofficial meeting place for the Carlow Cricket Club.  Norman McMillan in his recently published book, ‘One Hundred and Fifty Years of Cricket and Sport in County Carlow’, gives an account of Mrs. Ruddocks teas at the cricket matches when she would serve sausages with small union Jacks stuck in them. Ruddocks was taken over by Michael Nolan and Scallywags Children’s Clothes shop until the present Audio Vision electrical shop occupied these premises before EUROPRICE.

14 Tullow Street - 'Page One' bookshop was John Leonard’s, bootmaker, then Mary O’Neill, grocers. (Hadden’s came to town in 1909 and their extensive store replaces seven premises).

15 Tullow Street - was Henry Banks drapers, (Banks was a granduncle of W.H. Hadden). After Henry Banks, came Thomas Burgess and sons, drapers. Both those shops, No.’s 14 and 15, became Ford's drapery store before finally forming part of Haddens.


16 Tullow Street - James Saunders leather store; Saunders was deaf and his customers had to write their orders on a slate.

17 Tullow Street - was owned by Patrick Coleman, painter and glazier.

18 Tullow Street - was John Murray hatter,

19 Tullow Street - John Byrne, grocer, afterwards John Herons butchers shop.

20 Tullow Street - No. 20 was William Graham, boot maker, later Fenlons painters and decorators, and more recently John O’Brien, cabinet maker and French polisher. This shop was where A.T.R. had their television and video section. Unfortunately this part of Haddens was to be the start of one of the biggest fires in Carlow since Boakes of Burrin Street went on fire at the turn of the century. The late Miss Mangan used to recall how the back window of a coal market house cracked from the intense heat although Boakes was nearly 200 yards away.

News of the Haddens fire brought thousands of people to Carlow town centre on Monday evening the 30th April, 1984 to watch in horror as one of Carlow’s oldest established family businesses was completely gutted.

Haddens was replaced with the present Haddens Centre comprising many thriving shops. These Include: Steilmann ladies boutique, Dynasty accessories, A.T.R., John O’Neills shop, Stitches boutique, Ciarda Gray shoe boutique, Curtains and Covers, The Bag shop, Haddens Department store and the upstairs Restaurant, and downstairs: Just Look fashion shop, Mister Minit shoe repairs etc, Options furniture and gift shop, McHughs Pharmacy. Kingsley menswear, Fashions Mind, Young Styles, Bargain Bonanza, which became Catherine Deegans, ‘Confectionery and Luncheons and Teas’, later this was Miss Foley’s (The Bridge) library.

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