Carrick-on-Suir: The Castle, Town Wall, Clock Tower, Ancient Abbeys - Book of County Tipperary, 1889

About “The Book of County Tipperary,” 1889

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. The Book of County Tipperary is the first of these to be made available on, with its own search page. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

To enjoy the rich variety of advertisements, confirm accuracy of the entries, or have a printed record of a family member, obtain an original or facsimile copy of The Book of County Tipperary.

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Nothing at Carrick-on-Suir possesses so much interest for the tourist as the ruined castle and the Elizabethan mansion, belonging to the Marquis of Ormonde. The castle walls extend to the bank of the river at the eastern extremity of the town. Two towers, each over eighty feet high, are in a better state of preservation externally than any other portion of the structure. The floors of one remain, but are not in repair. Those of the other have fallen. Ivy, moss, lichens, wall flowers and woodbine grow in the spots where decay gives an opportunity for a root-hold. The view from the towers includes all the beautiful places in the town and vicinity, Tybroughney castle, County Kilkenny, Slievenamon, etc. Carrick-on-Suir castle was built by Edmond Butler in 1309. The adjoining mansion, in the Elizabethan style, was built by Thomas Butler, tenth Earl of Ormonde, in 1565. The roof is in good condition. A few years ago the Marquis of Ormonde spent from £300 to £400 for needed restorations, under the direction of Mr. J. Ernest Grubb, who is tenant of the castle field. Entrance to the castle is effected from Castle-street.

Of the town wall, erected under a charter from Edward III., sufficient still exists to show what its character was. Starting from the castle field, about 350 feet of it, from twelve to fifteen or eighteen feet high, runs toward the West Gate. There are many fragments at the backs of the houses along the line. The houses at the West Gate are built against the town wall. At the western termination, in Bridge-street, a part remained over thirty feet high and five feet thick.

A wooden belfry, covered with copper, springs from one of the towers of the West Gate, and contains the town clock. It was originally erected by James Galway in 1783. Mr. Galway was a wine merchant and salt manufacturer, and lived in the castle. The clock, which he put up for the benefit of the town, was removed, and a new one erected by Mr. William Peare in 1872, under contract to the Town Commissioners. It was not considered necessary to substitute a new bell for the old one.

Authorities differ regarding the date of the Augustinian Abbey at Carrick-on-Suir, but all agree that it was either at the end of the twelfth, or beginning of the thirteenth century. It was founded for Canons regular, and dedicated to St. John the Evangelist by William de Cantell and Dionisia, his wife. At the decease of William the widow endowed it with lands. In 1557 the Abbey was granted to Thomas, Earl of Ormonde, who built a castle on the site.

There is a notice of the foundation of a nunnery for Poor Clares, but no particulars are given.

In 1336 a Franciscan monastery was founded at Carrickbeg by James, Earl of Ormonde. Friar John Clynne, of Kilkenny, the celebrated Annalist, was appointed warder. At the suppression in 1540, it was granted, with possessions, to Thomas, Earl of Ormonde.