Explore Rathvilly, County Carlow: A Picturesque Village with Rich History



Rathvilly carlow

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Rathvilly, a charming village in County Carlow, Ireland, is nestled on the River Slaney and boasts a rich history and picturesque surroundings. With its convenient location near the N81 national secondary route, Rathvilly is easily accessible and offers visitors a delightful experience exploring its local attractions, engaging in outdoor activities, and learning about its fascinating past.

Irish Name Origins:

Rathvilly’s name comes from the Irish “Ráth Bhile,” which means “ringfort of the trees.” This name reflects the village’s historical roots and its picturesque, tree-filled surroundings.

Points of Interest:

  1. Kevin Barry Statue: In the village center, a statue commemorates Kevin Barry, an 18-year-old executed for his role in the Irish War of Independence. The Kevin Barry Statue stands proudly in the center of Rathvilly village as a tribute to the young Irish patriot. At just 18 years old, Kevin Barry was executed for his involvement in the Irish War of Independence. The statue serves as a powerful reminder of his courage and the sacrifices made by many during the fight for Irish freedom.
  2. Rathvilly Moat: This medieval structure is located just one mile from the village on Hacketstown Road. Rathvilly Moat is an ancient motte and National Monument located in County Carlow, Ireland, approximately 1 km east of Rathvilly village and east of the River Slaney. This historical site was once the residence of Crimthann mac Énnai, an Uí Cheinnselaig King of Leinster who reigned between 443 and 483 and was baptized by Saint Patrick. The name “Rathvilly” translates to “ringfort of the sacred tree,” a reference to a bile, a tree considered sacred to a specific family or ancestral group. In times of conflict, destroying an enemy clan’s bile was a common act of war.
  3. Lisnavagh Estate: A beautiful estate just outside Rathvilly, offering picturesque landscapes and a glimpse into local history. Lisnavagh House is a historic estate located just outside the village of Rathvilly in County Carlow, Ireland. As the family seat of the McClintock-Bunbury family, Barons Rathdonnell, the estate has a rich history dating back to its original construction by William Bunbury in 1696. In 1847, Captain William McClintock-Bunbury commissioned Daniel Robertson to build a new house in the Gothic Revival style, complete with gardens, pleasure grounds, and a farmyard. The house was later remodeled in 1952 to accommodate changes in staffing and financial circumstances. Today, Lisnavagh House is known for its beautiful gardens, restored by Lady Rathdonnell, and is available for private events and weddings.


Rathvilly is located 11 km from Tullow and 8 km from Baltinglass, making it easily accessible via the N81 national secondary route. Although the Rathvilly railway station is no longer operational, the village is well-connected by road.

  1. Tullow: Located 11 km from Rathvilly
  2. Baltinglass: Located 8 km from Rathvilly
  3. Hacketstown: Located approximately 13 km from Rathvilly

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