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Carlow Granite: Years of History Written in Stone


Author : Michael J. Conry
Description : With almost 70% of the county underlain by granite bedrock, it is not surprising that granite has made a huge contribution to the geology, landscape and agriculture of Co. Carlow. It has shaped the very lives of the people who inhabited the county for thousands of years.

From earliest times people learned to use this excellent building stone for all kinds of artefacts, monuments, historic stones, walls, bridges and buildings of all descriptions, so that today it is difficult to find any object of antiquity within the county that has not been hewn from sparkling granite.

The book endeavours to draw attention to the importance of granite stone in the lives of the people, the economy of the county and more importantly to the rich heritage it has bequeathed.

The book is divided into three parts:

Part 1: The Carlow Landscape -
describes in some detail the influence of granite on the geology, glacial geology, geomorphology, soils and agriculture of the county. It also includes a chapter on the geography and old Gaelic names on Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs Mountains.

Part 2: The Built Heritage -
draws attention to the nature and variety, history and heritage importance of the granite buildings (public buildings, country houses, gate lodges, churches, labourers’ dwellings), structures (historic stones, corn stands) and artefacts in the county. It also describes the sources and quality of the granite stone and the methods of cleaving and dressing the stone.

Part 3: The Last of the Stonecutters -
endeavours to record the names and accomplishments of the stone-men (quarrymen and stonecutters) whose skilled workmanship has been largely ignored in the past.

Information : Hardback, 368pp, in full colour with 377 black and white (old) and colour photographs, maps, diagrams and etchings, published in 2006, ISBN 0 9 9535876 4 9.

Price : €40 plus P+P

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