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DUCKETT'S GROVE CASTLE. | by Edward Dullard Photography. Kilkenny, Ireland.
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Originally a Georgian home of noted Anglo Irish family, which was rebuilt in Gothic Revival style. Although burnt in 1933 the remaining towers and turrets, mostly ivy clad, give this enchanting structure a fairy tale air.


Built in 1830 by William Duckett in an estate covering more than 5,000 acres. During the Troubles, Duckett was occupied by soldiers from the Irish Republican Army and many Nationalist leaders sought refuge here. The last male heir died in 1908, but his widow lived in the house until 1912. At its entrance is the most stupendous castellated gateway in southern Ireland. located in Co. Carlow.


Ducketts Grove Rainstown, Carlow was designed in a Castellated Gothic revival style by Thomas A. Cobden for John Davidson Duckett circa 1825. The building incorporates numerous towers and turrets of varying shapes – round, square and octagonal. One tall octagonal turret rises from the structure. Duckett’s Grove is elaborately ornamented with oriels and niches containing statues. Several statues on pedestals surrounded the building and lined the approaches. The house itself is situated in the townland of Rainstown, between Carlow and Tullow but the estate comprised several large townlands and parts of others. Following the departure of the Duckett's the estate was managed by an agent until 1921 then by local farmers and later by the Land Commission. The division of the lands was completed by 1930. Duckett’s Grove was destroyed by fire in April 1933 but the cause of the fire has not been determined.


The entrance gate to Duckett’s Grove was designed by John MacDuff Derick (1810-1859). It was built between 1853-1855 and is one of the most elaborate castellated gateways in Ireland. It comprises many battlemented towers and has two great archways leading to two distinct drives. The principal archway features a portcullis. Over this latter is found a very large armorial bearing. It was said to have been originally coloured. The gateway is a landmark in its own right even to this day. This close-up view shows on of the castellated towers in Duckett's Grove with tiered Gothic style windows. Three windows occur on the ground level, two in the central section and three narrower features on the third storey. Moulding and other detail can be seen over those windows on the ground floor. Duckett's Grove (now in ruins) is situated in Rainstown, near Carlow Town.


The Duckett family lived there until around 1915. The house was gutted by fire in 1933 and the Bishop Foley Schools were partly built with ashlar from the ruins. But the shell of the huge range of the building and the spiral staircase tower survived. Could it be the work of a mentally disturbed architect, or is it the result of a mentally disturbed patron? The New York Evening Post obituary, tells us that MacDuff Derick arrived in America in the Summer of 1858, so there is a gap between his last recorded building and his arrival. This may be the withdrawal from architect referred to, but would not allow time for its resumption. His death, 'recorded in the journals of the 20th instant' [September] 1859 must have occurred shortly before that date.

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Taken on June 6, 2011