First Impressions


The first building seen by visitors to Carton, County Kildare is a boathouse on the north side of the Rye Water. Said to have been constructed in expectation of a visit by Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century, the boathouse makes an excellent first impression, provided not inspected too closely. Look at the other side of the building: here are slates already fallen off the roof, and others on the verge of doing so, allowing rainwater to damage the fabric. Unless necessary repairs are carried out by the hotel owners, the first building seen by visitors to Carton could yet be a ruin.

3 comments on “First Impressions

  1. I’m always amazed by the lack of care shown by the owners of Carton to structures that ought to be assets to the estate; the Tyrconnell Tower, the Shell House, not to mention the main house itself. When I last visited, holes in the windows of the shell house had been repaired with flimsy pieces of acetate, the shelves in the library empty and stacked on top of one another, the reception rooms cheaply and sparsely furnished. A real shame.

    • Carey O'Donnell says:

      I hate to hear that. My family lived in a wing of Carton in the late 70s and the Shell Cottage was magnificent. It’s an Irish treasure and deserves to be maintained as such.

  2. Kevin Duff says:

    Same at Luttrellstown. Golf course doing a bomb but the Bath House & Rustic Arch – two of the most important demesne follies in Ireland – are at risk (the former a derelict shell behind the preserved portico & the latter with one of its towers collapsed into a stream).

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