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Michael Foley. Being both an historic walled town and home to one of the finest Elizabethan houses in Ireland, Carrick-on-Suir has a rich history dating back to the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in Ireland in the 13th Century. By the 15th Century Carrick-on-Suir was the most strategically important place on the River Suir after Waterford, and, with the river trade from Clonmel to Waterford, the town was a vital commercial hub for hundreds of years.
Now, with a wealth of historic sites and influential historical figures, Carrick-on-Suir a must-visit town on the heritage trails of Ireland.
Carrick-on-Suir Co. Tipperary
Carrick-on-Suir owes its origins to the River Suir. The name of the town stems from the original settlement of Carrig Mac Griffin, an island settlement upstream of Waterford which was one of seven walled towns in County Tipperary developed by the Anglo-Normans. The earliest known records the town date to when a charter of fairs was awarded to the Lord of the Manor of Carrick, Matthew Fitzgriffin. The earliest church, St Nicholas of Myra, was also built during this period at the highest point of the island.
By the early 14th century, Carrig Mac Griffin was home to the prosperous Butler family. The first significant leader of the Butler clan, Edmond le Bottiler, became the Earl of Carrick in and his son later became the Earl of Ormond. This family was extremely powerful and influential, and both the Butler and Ormond names are synonymous with medieval Irish history. Edmond le Bottiler built two large, heavily garrisoned castle keeps known as the Plantagenet Castle on the north bank of the Suir in , and a stone town wall during the same period.
The Carraig Hotel Reviews, Carrick-on-Suir
The walled town, which consisted of individual houses with kitchen gardens, grew to become the largest in the county with 36 acres of land inside the town wall. Indeed by the end of the 14th Century there was a public oven where townspeople were able to bake in safety without endangering their own homes. Elizabeth never did visit, however the house contains many beautiful details including decorative plasterwork portraits of the Virgin Queen.
It is also to be found in the decorative plasterwork. The Carrick Knot, or Carrick Bend , is still in use by boatmen, fishermen and sailors today.
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He made the mistake of leaving garrisons to defend towns rather than facing the enemy in pitched battle, giving Cromwell the opportunity to defeat the garrisons one by one. In this manner, Carrick-on-Suir was taken by Cromwell in November of that year when his forces tricked the watch into opening New Gate. In the Duke of Ormond convinced the king to remove restrictions on woollen and linen exports and subsequently founded the woollen industry in Carrick in the s, with the help of Huguenots who had fled France, bringing prosperity to the area.
By the late s the political landscape had changed again and the English wars returned to Ireland with William of Orange and James II fighting for the crown. William is believed to have visited Carrick-on-Suir on his way back to England after failing to capture Limerick. Such was the welcome in Carrick-on-Suir, even from families whose sons were fighting for James, that William is said to have granted the town exemption from taxation forever more.
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It was a promise that was sadly broken.