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Aran Inspired

Leighlinbridge Black Castle

The original Black Castle, located in the pretty village of Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, was once one of the finest Norman fortresses in Ireland. Also intact is a Valerian stone bridge, believed to be one of the oldest functioning bridges in Europe. Standing at the side of this bridge on the village's main street, and overlooking the River Barrow, all that remains of the Black Castle today is the west half of a 14th century tower, along with part of the bawn.

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Carlow Cathedral of the Assumption

Bishop James Doyle, a staunch advocate of Catholic freedom in Ireland during a time of British oppression, built this attractive church in 1833. Two previous churches had stood on this site, the first dating to the late 1780s, but by the early 19th century, with Catholics more willing to congregate in the open, numbers were swelling and a new building was required. Funds of £9,000 pounds raised by Carlow parishioners for the cathedral's construction, which was a huge sum at that time.

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Brownshill Dolmen

The Brownshill Dolmen is a megalithic portal tomb situated 3km / 2 miles east of Carlow town, and looks like a piece of Stonehenge got transplanted to Ireland. This megalithic burial chamber dates back to around 3500 BCE.

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Croppies Grave

Inscription on one of the historic tree pieces at Croppies Grave. Croppies Grave is a pretty monument of national historic interest. Located in Carlow Town, a replica of an ancient Celtic high cross erected on the site of a sand pit, where bodies of where the bodies of slain Irish independence fighters were buried.

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St Mullins Monastery and Heritage Centre

One of Ireland's early Christian monks established this monastic community in 696 in what is today a picturesque rural village in south County Carlow which still bears his name, Saint Mullin's. The saint, who served as Bishop of Ferns and Glendalough, is alleged to have led a life of many miracles. The monastery was ravaged by Viking invaders in 951 and again by fire in 1138. A graveyard stands alongside the ruins of the old monastery, while a 19th-century church houses a heritage centre, providing information for visitors. 

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Carlow Castle

A large and impressive fragment of this 13th century castle still sits prominently in Carlow town centre, close to the River Barrow. What remains is half of the original castle keep -- the fortified, turreted tower where its medieval occupants lived and slept --  but it is enough to give a sense of how majestic this building must once have been.

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Carlow Town

Situated in the south-east of Ireland, and linked to Dublin 84km (52 miles) away by motorway, Carlow is the main town of the County Carlow. The town is built around the picturesque River Barrow, a fine fishing river. With a population of 23,000, Carlow has a friendly atmosphere, with plenty of things to do and see for visitors. The town has lots of traditional Irish pubs, as well as more modern eateries, including trendy cafes.

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