Carlow Big Houses Festival

Borris House – Altamont Gardens – Duckett’s Grove – Huntington Castle – Lisnavagh House

The Carlow Big Houses Festival is your chance to peek behind the doors of some of Ireland’s most lavish manor houses. Part of this autumn’s Taste the Island campaign, the festival allows visitors enjoy authentic food and drink, made using high quality local ingredients. Discover the splendour of Altamont Gardens, a jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown, and delve into the mysteries of the temple at Huntington Castle. Take a wildlife walk at Borris House or simply enjoy a guided tour of any of these fabulous houses and their historic gardens.

Renowned national speakers provide a rare and entertaining insight into the great houses of Carlow, the secrets and stories of the people who owned them and their significant roles in Irish and international history. A Day with the Ducketts will bring visitors back a century or more at the magical location of Duckett’s Grove with a bustling and vibrant recreation of life as it was for the family and estate workers. Experience traditional methods of bread, butter and basket making, weaving, clothes washing and horse shoeing while viewing magnificent horse-drawn carriages, ponies and traps and stabled horses.

We finish off this year’s festival with something special: a historical play set against the stunning backdrop of Lisnavagh House.

Lisnavagh House and Gardens


Talk with Dr Terence Dooley: The Burning of the Big Houses in the Irish Revolution 1920-23

Date: 26th October | Time: 5pm | Adm: €12 pre-booking is advised but not essential at www.carlowtourism.com/bighouses

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Long Table Banquet

Date: 26th October | Time: 8pm | Cost: €65 pre-booking is essential at www.carlowtourism.com/bighouses

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Historical Talk on Lisnavagh & the Bunburys

Date: 26th & 27th October | Throughout the day | Adm: €5 tours are by arrangement only, contact 087 987 5104

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Big House Play

Date: 27th October | Time: 7pm, play starts at approx. 8pm pre-booking essential at www.carlowtourism.com/bighouses

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Taste the Island