Carlow County Museum, Carlow

#6 of 24 in Things to do in Carlow
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The County Museum is housed in the former Presentation Convent on College Street, just off Tullow Street, the main street of Carlow Town. The building is in a prime town centre location and is part of a complex that also houses the Tourist Office and the County Library. Carlow County Museum is operated by Carlow County Council in association with the Carlow Historical & Archaeological Society (C.H.A.S.).

Among the items on display is the famous and magnificent 19th century hand carved pulpit from Carlow Cathedral. The pulpit has been included in the book ‘A History of Ireland in 100 Objects’ by Fintan O’Toole, winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2013 ‘Best Irish-published Book of the Year’. The pulpit is over 20ft tall and is made entirely of oak. Also on view is the original gallows trapdoor from the Carlow Gaol which was used during the 19th century for public executions. See the wooden smoking pipe of Captain Myles Keogh, who was killed at the infamous Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. Myles was among the last to be killed in the battle and his horse Comanche survived the battle. Find out about the great 19th century scientist John Tyndall who was the first person to discover the greenhouse effect and has a peak in the Alps named after him. The Museum is home to the remains of the last cigarette smoked by Kevin Barry, a medical student from Co. Carlow was executed in 1920 in Mountjoy Gaol, Dublin at the age of 18 for his role in the Irish War of Independence. The latest installation in the Museum is a Stained Glass Panel, by Artist Peadar Lamb, which depicts a Carlow narrative of the 1916 Rising.

The Cultural Quarter of the town runs from Tullow Street along College Street to the Old Dublin Road encompassing not just the Museum & Tourist Office but also the Visual Centre for Contemporary Art & The George Bernard Shaw Theatre; Carlow College, County Library, the Cathedral of the Assumption and the magnificent early nineteenth century Carlow Courthouse. Visual displays a variety of artistic displays throughout the year. The George Bernard Shaw Theatre is named after one of Ireland’s greatest writers and whose mother hails from Carlow. Carlow College is Ireland’s second oldest third level institution and is home to the Carlow Art Collection. Visit Carlow County Museum and see what you are missing, admission is free.

Free Admission, open all year round.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
83 reviews
  • From the outside you cannot imagine that he museum in Carlow town is actually that big. They have the famous pulpit that once belonged in the cathedral, an old living room and an old grocery store...  more »
  • Located right by the Tourist Information Office, this museum was very interesting and had lots of good artifacts from former days. A kind gentleman was working there and explained to me the story...  more »
  • Fantastic museum and fantastic exhibitions Lovingly curated!
  • Very helpful staff gave us a guided tour and answered our questions intelligently

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