Duckett's Grove, Co. Carlow, Ireland, December 2019

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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
Duckett’s grove is located approximately 10 km from Carlow and 9 km from Tullow, Ireland. It was built circa 1830 by William Duckett on his County Carlow estate. Initially he constructed a two-storey Georgian country house in 1818, replacing an earlier manor house from the 1700s, but more ambitious plans saw it transform into a castellated Gothic revival style castle designed by Thomas A. Cobden. This was as a consequence of a number of family marriages into wealthy merchant families. The Georgian features of the initial construction were either removed or hidden and a number of towers and turrets added. Also added were a number of elaborately ornamented with oriels and niches containing statues. At its height the house had a staff of eleven men just to maintain the grounds.

After the death of William Duckett in1908 (the last male in the family line) his second wife Maria remained in the property until circa 1916. The estate was then managed by an agent until 1921 when it was purchased from Maria Duckett by a group of local farmers. Using a £32,000 loan from the Bank of Ireland, they then managed the property under the banner of the Killerig Land Committee until 1925. At that time the Killerig farmers failed to agree on the division of the land and no repayments of interest or capital had been made to the Bank. After the threat that legal action would be taken against them the Land Commission took over the estate, cleared the bank debt, and by 1930 the division of the land was complete. The bank retained the mansion and eleven acres of land, which was then sold in 1931 to Frederick George Thompson for £320.

The lodge back in its heyday:

49461731011_e1363b0e48_b.jpg Duckett's Grove by HughieDW, on Flickr

A fire destroyed Duckett’s Grove mansion on the night of the 20th of April, 1933, reducing County Carlow’s finest mock-gothic mansion to a ruin. Mrs. Maria Georgina Duckett died four years later in 1937. Her only daughter Olive had been disinherited with what was known in such wills as “the angry shilling”. The estate was valued at £97,735. In 1939 a court case in Dublin decided after a12-day hearing that Olive should get interest for life on £7,000, with the capital to revert back into the estate after her death. The remainder went to charities and in legal fees. The house and immediate estate lay abandoned until in September 2005, Carlow County Council acquired it and restored the two inter-connecting walled gardens. They were officially opened in September 2007 for use as a public park.

2. The Explore
My last report from my Irish hols was the first stop when we broke our journey on the long drive from Dublin to Dungarvan. Duckett’s Grove rises out of the landscape and the place is a real stunner of a house. Sadly though, it’s just a shell now with nothing to see inside apart from bare walls and the many RSJs that hold it together. Most of the statues in the oriels and niches have been half-inched but there’s still a number of external features to hold your attention for half-an-hour. The gatehouse down the road is also pretty tidy.

3. The Pictures

The views on the approach are pretty stunning, even in dull Irish weather:

49332253888_a02d643a17_b.jpg Ducketts 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332255373_1f40c1a626_b.jpg Ducketts 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Corner tower:

49332717656_e31c111d8e_b.jpg Ducketts 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332900377_1d5c4936db_b.jpg img4864 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the inside:

49332718061_b7497f035d_b.jpg Ducketts 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And another:

49332943577_24b903f4f0_b.jpg Ducketts 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

More bare walls:

49332719246_9e2e4e530e_b.jpg Ducketts 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332222238_d8bcab6e15_b.jpg img4850bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some of those many RSJs:

49332256513_3f158c8557_b.jpg Ducketts 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332227473_f756111959_b.jpg img4844 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And some more:

49332685991_fe9d0a716b_b.jpg img4849 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some surviving carvings:

49332898262_1393a87059_b.jpg img4866bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332220553_77d55b3cf1_b.jpg img4853 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And someone who’s lost their head:

49332675501_b5c34bc7f3_b.jpg img4865 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332902492_0d98c1876a_b.jpg img4862bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332217893_923380de01_b.jpg img4859 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332682261_1548f44e2e_b.jpg img4855 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332230128_80af8ecef5_b.jpg img4840bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

Finally, the gatehouse down the road:

49332253663_e3d77805e1_b.jpg Ducketts 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332253508_2c1329fa39_b.jpg Ducketts 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49332253128_1bd69ed928_b.jpg Ducketts 12 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On the crest it says “Spectemur Agendo” which is a Latin motto meaning “Let us be judged by our acts”:

49332253348_898c1498fc_b.jpg Ducketts 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr


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Cool, I visited here on a trip a few years back, and at that point it was possible to go up a rickety timber staircase onto the roof of the gatehouse to see the battlements up close. From memory it's a double gatehouse, which arched openings for two different driveways.

ps. The RSJ's are UBS's (universal beam sections) - rolled joists wouldn't be man enough for that job!