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Carlow Cathedral
Carlow Town, Co. Carlow
Rainy days
Free to visit
Located adjacent to St Patrick’s College in Carlow Town, this early 19th-century cathedral was the first to be built after Catholic emancipation. It contains a statue dedicated to Bishop James Doyle, a champion of Catholic rights, who is buried there.

Carlow Cathedral was the brainchild of Bishop James Doyle, who is regarded as a prominent advocate of Catholic rights. Thomas Cobden designed the cathedral, taking inspiration from European models like the Beftroi Tower in Bruges. The building, which is constructed from lovely grey-blue stone, and local material were used in the construction, the stone coming from a quarry on the Tullow Road, while Colonel Bruen from Oak Park supplied the white granite from his Graiguenaspidogue quarry and oak timbers from his forests at Oak Park, it was completed in 1833 and sits near Saint Patrick’s College in Carlow Town.

The structure is dedicated to Bishop Doyle, who died the year after it opened and lies interred in its walls. Inside, there is also a memorial statue to the Bishop, created by John Hogan and considered his greatest achievement.

Tips from locals

Visit the Carlow Museum next door, to view the Cathedral’s original and magnificently ornate pulpit.

Contact details
College Street,Carlow Town,Co Carlow,Republic of Ireland
Visit duration

We recommend planning to spend up to 1 hour here.

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