Duckett’s Grove

Ducketts Grove Castle, Carlow
Duckett’s Grove Castle, Carlow

Step into a world of enchanting beauty and historical allure at Duckett’s Grove, a captivating gem nestled in the lush countryside of County Carlow. This Gothic-style ruin, once the extravagant home of the Duckett family, has captivated the hearts and minds of visitors for centuries. Discover the fascinating history of this majestic estate, stroll through the restored walled gardens, and immerse yourself in the allure of Ireland’s rich cultural heritage.

Important Info

Opening Hours: Typically daylight hours, call ahead on +353599131554 if it’s getting late to check.

Entrance Fee: Free admission

Facilities: Car & coach parking, toilets, wheelchair access, kids playground, gift shop.

The History of Duckett’s Grove

Duckett’s Grove was initially a Georgian country house built around 1745, later undergoing significant transformations by architects Thomas A. Cobden and John McDuff Derick in the 19th century. The resulting Gothic-style mansion, complete with turrets, castellated parapets, and ornate architectural details, became a symbol of elegance and prestige, occupying a sprawling 12,000-acre estate across five counties.

The Duckett family’s influence waned in the early 20th century, with the last heir, William Dawson Duckett, passing away in 1908. By 1916, his wife Maria Georgina Thompson Duckett had relocated to Dublin, leaving the once-thriving estate to the passage of time. Today, Duckett’s Grove stands as an evocative testament to a bygone era, with its romantic silhouette and picturesque surroundings attracting history buffs, photographers, and the occasional paranormal enthusiast.

Exploring Duckett’s Grove

A visit to Duckett’s Grove is a journey through time, where the whispers of history echo through the towers and turrets. The estate’s structural remains are open to the public, allowing you to wander through the ruins and marvel at the intricate architecture that has withstood the test of time.

The walled gardens of Duckett’s Grove have been carefully restored, with paths and borders once again brimming with vibrant plant life. Embrace the tranquility of these verdant sanctuaries, where modern planting schemes pay homage to the estate’s past while showcasing contemporary horticultural trends.

For families, the estate offers a delightful wooden playground, thoughtfully designed to complement its natural surroundings. Young visitors will enjoy the slides, obstacle courses, and climbing structures, all while immersed in the beauty of the Irish countryside.

After a day of exploration, unwind at the on-site coffee dock, indulge in a treat from the gift shop, or capture the perfect memento of your visit with a photograph against the stunning backdrop of Duckett’s Grove.

Events at Ducketts Grove

Carlow Vintage & Classic Motor Club Annual Show

This runs in August each year. Typically there’s a parade of cars through Carlow Town on the Saturday evening. On the Sunday, you’ll see vintage cars including pre-war vehicles, as well as motorbikes, scooters, and agricultural machinery. The day also has music, food, stalls, and a play area for children. See the official website for more details, the 2023 dates are still to be confirmed. In 2022 the entrance fee was €5.

The Great Duckett Run

The Great Duckett Run, a thrilling 5K timed event, is set to take place at the Duckett’s Grove Estate in County Carlow on February 26, 2023, from 11am to 2pm.

Participants will have the opportunity to race against the backdrop of the estate’s majestic towers, turrets, and architectural wonders. The event features a bespoke medal, enticing prizes, and early bird registration starting at €20. Attendees can also look forward to refreshments provided on race day, making this a must-attend event on the 2023 running calendar.

Full details on Run Ireland.

Getting There

Duckett’s Grove is located approximately 10 km from Carlow Town, making it easily accessible by car or coach. Simply follow the R418 road, and look for the signposts that will lead you to the estate. There’s ample parking available, including spaces for larger vehicles such as buses and campervans. For those relying on public transport, the nearest train station is Carlow, from which you can take a taxi or arrange a local tour to visit the site.

Written / Updated