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Leithghlinn an Droichid
The Black Castle on the River Barrow in Leighlinbridge
The Black Castle on the River Barrow in Leighlinbridge
Leighlinbridge is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°44′11″N 6°58′21″W / 52.7364°N 6.9725°W / 52.7364; -6.9725Coordinates: 52°44′11″N 6°58′21″W / 52.7364°N 6.9725°W / 52.7364; -6.9725
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Carlow
Elevation 41 m (135 ft)
Population (2002)
 • Urban 646
 • Rural 1,316
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference S694654

Leighlinbridge (/ˈlɔːxln.brɪ/; Irish: Leithghlinn an Droichid, meaning "half-glen or grey glen of the bridge")[6] is a small town on the River Barrow in County Carlow, Ireland. The N9 National primary route once passed through the village, which was by-passed in the 1980s. It now lies on the R705 regional road.

It covers the townlands of Leighlin (east bank of the river) and Ballyknockan (west bank). The village features narrow winding streets, grey limestone malthouses and castle ruins overlooking a 14th-century bridge across the River Barrow, reputedly one of the oldest functioning bridges in Europe. Leighlinbridge has won many environmental awards, including county winner in the National Tidy Towns Competition, first in the Barrow Awards, overall national winner in Ireland's Green Town 2000, and represented Ireland in the European "Entente Florale" competition in 2001.[7]

Places of interest[edit]

  • Leighlinbridge Castle, also called Black Castle, was one of Ireland’s earliest Norman castles. A 50 ft tall broken castle tower and bawn wall are all that can be seen today.[8]
  • Below the castle lies the ruin of the first Carmelite priory in Ireland which was built by the Norman, Carew in 1270.[7]
  • At the northern entrance to the village is a sculpture by Michael Warren, depicting the thrones of the ancient seat of the Kings of South Leinster at Dinn Righ (The hill of the Kings). The Kings of Leinster lived near the village.[7]

Leighlinbridge meteorite[edit]

On the night of 28 November 1999, a brilliant exploding fireball was observed over Carlow town, which lasted for several seconds before fading and was accompanied by a loud detonation. An elderly lady in Leighlinbridge recovered a fusion crusted individual meteoritic rock on 12 December 1999, and later two more specimens were found. It is now officially called the "Leighlinbridge" by the International Meteorite Nomenclature Committee.[9][10] The meteorites, totalling 271.4 grams in weight,[9] were at the time the first recovered in Ireland since 1865 and are the first fallen rocks found anywhere in Ireland or Britain since 1991.[11] The previous find in Ireland was the Dundrum meteorite which was found near Dundrum, County Tipperary.


Gaelic sports[edit]

In Leighlinbridge there are three GAA clubs, Naomh Bríd, Leighlinbridge and Micheal Davitts. Naomh Bríd are a hurling club who compete in both the Carlow Senior Hurling Championship and the Carlow Intermediate Hurling Championship and all underage hurling competitions. Leighlinbridge are a football club who compete in the Carlow Intermediate Football Championship. Micheal Davitts are a football club who compete at underage level in Carlow. Players from neighbouring villages Old Leighlin and Ballinabranna combine with Leighlinbridge to play for Micheal Davits.


Vale Wanderers is the soccer club in Leighlinbridge. Vale have teams from under 8s all the way to seniors. They play in the excellent facilities at The Superbowl.



The local school is Leighlinbridge N.S. The most recent report by Dept. of Education inspectors praised the "welcoming, supportive and inclusive school atmosphere", and the "high quality teaching, as well as the openness and reflectivity that exists amongst the teaching staff". It states that "pupils are achieving at commendable levels".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  2. ^ http://www.histpop.org
  3. ^ http://www.nisranew.nisra.gov.uk/census
  4. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  5. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  6. ^ Leighlinbridge Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved: 2013-02-16.
  7. ^ a b c d "Leighlinbridge". Carlow Tourism. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  8. ^ "Leighlinbridge Castle". An Ireland Attraction. 
  9. ^ a b Meteoritical Bulletin Database: Leighlinbridge
  10. ^ "Leighlinbridge". Fernlea Meteorites UK. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  11. ^ Damian Carrington (2000-01-31). "Woman finds space fireball debris". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 

External links[edit]