About twenty miles by the tidal waters of the Suir was Carrig Mac Griffin and, from their base in Waterford, the Norsemen made regular incursions to Carrig from which they raided the surrounding countryside taking animals and crops to help supply their main base. These eventually settled and built walled towns. By the 10th Century they began to regard Ireland as their home.
This was not to bring peace however, since the Normans then set their sights on Ireland and sent invasion parties. It is recorded that an Anglo Norman family came to Carrig named the Le Brets little is known of them, but that they left behind their ruined Manor House of the Butlers.
Then in 1309 came Edmond le Bottiler, who was later created Earl of Carrig in 1315. His son received the title Earl of Ormonde and the older title was abandoned. Edmond erected two large, heavily garrisoned castle keeps named the Plantagenet Castle. From the courtyard a canal was built to the river and protected by a guarded Watergate, to provide entry and exit for their long boats.
Later a Town Wall was erected. In the North Wall, guarded gates were built with small round keeps. At a later date some stalls - like houses or shops - were built and the population gradually increased.
In the year 1447 a stone bridge was built, now known as the "Old Bridge". One of the most handsome stone bridges in Ireland, it pre-dates the voyage of Columbus to the New World. One of the Ormonde family was known as "Richard The Builder" and to him is attributed the building of the bridge.
Carrick's four towered castle was also built in the 1400's. Two of the towers are now to be seen incorporated into a unique architectural treasure in Ireland - the Elizabethan Manor House built by Black Tom Butler, 10th. Earl of Ormonde, c. 1560.
In the year 1670 the Butlers set up a wollen industry and built many homes for their weavers. This industry flourished for a long number of years.
Carrick's Town Clock was erected in 1784, sponsored by a family named Galleway. It was built in Manchester and is reached by a stone stairway with a number of gun slots in the walls. The bell has yet to be heard.
The town parks were erected when a committee of town merchants and gentlemen was set up to deal with the sum of £600 which was left unexpended from the famine relief fund. Land was granted by the Ormonde family and it was decided to set-up public parks and plant trees on the Fair Green. The project was completed in around 1868 and Carrick's handsome parks can still be enjoyed today.
The modern history of the town was centered around the tanning industry that arrived in 1934 to 1938. Factories and businesses are now again flourishing in Carrick, after struggling in recent years since the closure of the tannery a few years ago.
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Last updated 4th. March, 1997.