Carlow County Museum

Carlow County Museum

Visit the multi award winning Carlow County Museum and see what you’re missing!

Among the items on display over four galleries is the famous and magnificent 19th century hand carved pulpit from Carlow Cathedral. The pulpit has been included in the book ‘A History of Ireland in 100 Objects’ by Fintan O’Toole, winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2013 ‘Best Irish-published Book of the Year’. The pulpit is over 20ft tall and is made entirely of oak. Also on view is the original gallows trapdoor from the Carlow Gaol which was used during the 19th century for public executions. See the wooden smoking pipe of Captain Myles Keogh, who was killed at the infamous Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876.

Find out about the great 19th century scientist John Tyndall who was the first person to discover the greenhouse effect and has a peak in the Alps named after him. The Museum is home to the remains of the last cigarette smoked by Kevin Barry, a medical student from Co. Carlow was executed in 1920 in Mountjoy Gaol, Dublin at the age of 18 for his role in the Irish War of Independence.  

Special temporary exhibitions on display:

  •  ‘The Quiet Revolution’ – Carlow County Museum and the E.S.B. Archives have worked together over the past number of months to develop a special temporary exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of Rural Electrification which began in November 1946. The Rural Electrification Scheme has been described as one of the greatest social and economic developments in twentieth-century Ireland. This exhibition explores the bringing of the light to Carlow, from the first public lighting in 1891, to the implementation of rural electrification in the area (1947-1963). Those who worked on the scheme, including PJ Dowling, Carlow Person of the 20th Century, became known as the ‘Rural Pioneers’. The exhibition has been extended and will run until February 2017.
  • “Journeys in Time” – The Archaeology of the Carlow By-pass- see many of the archeological objects found along the route of the M9 Carlow By-pass including our smallest object, an Iron Age glass bead. This exhibition is in association with the National Museum of Ireland and the National Roads Authority.

Carlow County Museum, ‘Ireland’s County Museum of the Year 2014 – 15’ is part of Carlow town’s Cultural Quarter and admission is free!

The museum is self-guided but tours can be arranged for groups of 10+. The museum is a must do  for school tours as it gives the students an opportunity to handle historic objects.

The County Museum is housed in the former Presentation Convent on College Street, Carlow Town. The Museum is entered through Carlow Tourist Office. The building is in a prime town centre location and is part of a complex that also houses the Tourist Office, the County Library and Archive.


MondaySaturday 10am – 4.30pm  September – May

MondaySaturday 10am – 5pm  June – August

Sundays and Bank Holidays 2pm- 4.30pm  June – August

Admission is free & the Museum has full wheelchair access.


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Visit us & see what you’re missing!