Carlow Town , County Wexford

carlow_rowersFor centuries , the town of Carlow , 35 miles North-East of Wexford , was an Anglo-Norman stronghold at the edge of an otherwise fiercely Gaelic county.

As such, it has a bloody history , with its most terrible battle during the 1798 Rebellion , when over six hundred rebels were slaughtered.

Today there’s nothing to suggest its former frontier status , and this small , busy town is distinguished only by a fine Classical courthouse with a portico modelled on the Parthenon , an elegant Regancy Gothic cathedral – one of the first Catholic churches to be built after Catholic Emancipation in 1829 – and the remains of the once proud Norman Castle , which lie beside the river at the West end of town.

Otherwise , there’s plenty on local military , religious , and folk history in the museum , housed in the town hall on Centaur Street.

So its well worth a visit on any Ireland tours , for some of these hidden gems.