Towns of Kildare
Athy —County Kildare
Athy can boast the fact that the arms of the Earl of Kildare were in the 16th century 'White Castle'. Today the old Market House, which is situated in the town centre and adjacent to the majestic River Barrow, is the home of the impressive Heritage Centre. The centre houses a remarkable collection of artefacts and memorabilia of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary explorer.
The County town developed on the site of the residence of the Leinster Kings. Behind the town hall is the Angelo - Norman motte, and off the main street is the medieval church of St. David, whose patronage was brought from their native Wales by the Fitzgerald's. The unfinished tower dates from 1780. The courthouse was designed by Richard Morrison in 1807; beside the courthouse is a hotel, which was once the Scottish baronial police barracks.
The early 19th century Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St. David has a fine tower. A branch line of the Grand Canal enables both boats & berth in the harbour.