Leighlinbridge (/ˈlɔːxlɪn.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.


Leithghlinn an Droichid
The Black Castle on the River Barrow in Leighlinbridge
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°44′11″N 6°58′21″W
CountyCounty Carlow
41 m (135 ft)
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
  Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceS694654

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. 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

  • 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

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

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 local soccer club in Leighlinbridge. They are represented at both underage and senior levels.



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


  1. Census for post 1821 figures.
  2. http://www.histpop.org
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2014-04-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). 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. "Leighlinbridge". Carlow Tourism. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  8. "Leighlinbridge Castle". An Ireland Attraction.
  9. 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.
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