Ducket's Grove, Carlow.

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Duckett's Grove


Source: Carlow County Library

Pony & Trap
A rare picture of Duckett's Grove Carlow, before it was destroyed by fire in 1930.
Source: Wikipedia
  Duckett's Grove, Carlow
Duckett's Grove, Carlow

Duckett Grove

All images © Michael & Janet Brennan 2000

Duckett's Grove, Rainstown, Carlow.

Originally a Georgian home of noted Anglo Irish family, which was rebuilt in Gothic Revival style. Although burnt in 1933 the remaining towers and turrets, mostly ivy clad, give this enchanting structure a fairy tale air.

Built in 1830 by William Duckett in an estate covering more than 5,000 acres. During the Troubles, Duckett was occupied by soldiers from the Irish Republican Army and many Nationalist leaders sought refuge here. The last male heir died in 1908, but his widow lived in the house until 1912. At its entrance is the most stupendous castellated gateway in southern Ireland. located in Co. Carlow.

Ducketts Grove Rainstown, Carlow was designed in a Castellated Gothic revival style by Thomas A. Cobden for John Davidson Duckett circa 1825. The building incorporates numerous towers and turrets of varying shapes – round, square and octagonal. One tall octagonal turret rises from the structure. Duckett’s Grove is elaborately ornamented with oriels and niches containing statues. Several statues on pedestals surrounded the building and lined the approaches. The house itself is situated in the townland of Rainstown, between Carlow and Tullow but the estate comprised several large townlands and parts of others. Following the departure of the Duckett's the estate was managed by an agent until 1921 then by local farmers and later by the Land Commission. The division of the lands was completed by 1930. Duckett’s Grove was destroyed by fire in April 1933 but the cause of the fire has not been determined.


Three photos of Duckett's Grove in Co. Carlow taken in 1999 by Maureen Neidle. 

All images © Mrs Janet Brennan 2000

Entrance gate to Duckett's Grove

The entrance gate to Duckett’s Grove was designed by John MacDuff Derick (1810-1859). It was built between 1853-1855 and is one of the most elaborate castellated gateways in Ireland. It comprises many battlemented towers and has two great archways leading to two distinct drives. The principal archway features a portcullis. Over this latter is found a very large armorial bearing. It was said to have been originally coloured. The gateway is a landmark in its own right even to this day. This close-up view shows on of the castellated towers in Duckett's Grove with tiered Gothic style windows. Three windows occur on the ground level, two in the central section and three narrower features on the third storey. Moulding and other detail can be seen over those windows on the ground floor. Duckett's Grove (now in ruins) is situated in Rainstown, near Carlow Town.

The Duckett family lived there until around 1915. The house was gutted by fire in 1933 and the Bishop Foley Schools were partly built with ashlar from the ruins. But the shell of the huge range of the building and the spiral staircase tower survived. Could it be the work of a mentally disturbed architect, or is it the result of a mentally disturbed patron? The New York Evening Post obituary, tells us that MacDuff Derick arrived in America in the Summer of 1858, so there is a gap between his last recorded building and his arrival. This may be the withdrawal from architect referred to, but would not allow time for its resumption. His death, 'recorded in the journals of the 20th instant' [September] 1859 must have occurred shortly before that date.

Source:  John Macduff Derick (c.1805/6-1859) A

Duckett’s Grove is described by Mark Bence-Jones in his book 'A Guide to Irish Country Houses'

"A square house of 2 and three storeys, transformed into a spectacular castellated Gothic fantasy by Thomas A. Cobden … for J. D. Duckett 1830. Numerous towers and turrets, round, square and octagonal; notably a heavily machicolated round tower with a tall octagonal turret growing out of it. The walls enlivened with oriels and many canopied niches sheltering statues; more statues and busts in niches along the battlemented wall joining the house to a massively feudal yard gateway; yet more statues manning the battlements of one of the towers, and disposed around the house on pedestals………. The house was burnt 1933 and is now a ruin."

Late News just in from Pete Schermerhorn, in the glorious Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts

"I just heard on RTE's News at One that the Carlow County Council have "taken over" Duckett's Grove and the attached 11 acres of property. The Council plans to "stabilize" the ruin, and then work on developing the historic garden areas around the building. At least some parts of the facility should be open to the public next year. I'm sure there'll be more information on this in the days to come".

05 September, 2005 13:43hrs

Duckett’s Grove and some Great Women

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