An important strategic location for thousand of years

White’s Castle was built in 1417 by Sir John Talbot, Viceroy of Ireland, to protect the inhabitants of Athy from the ‘wild Irish’. This location on the banks of the River Barrow has been an important strategic site for thousands of years. Athy (the town of Ae’s ford) takes its name from a 2nd-century chieftain called ‘Ae’, who is said to have been killed near this point on the river. During the 12th-century, Athy became an important Anglo-Norman settlement and was part of the FitzGerald Earls of Kildare’s estates for hundreds of years. It played a prominent role in the confederate wars when competing Royalist and Confederate armies frequently vied for its control. After the 1798 rebellion, it served as the prison for the captured rebels. It later became a garrison for troops, a constabulary barracks, and is now a private residence. There are 2 interesting sculptured slabs built into the walls on either side of the entrance doorway, one is the Earl of Kildare’s coat of arms and the other is Richard Cossen’s coat who was Sovereign of Athy in 1573.