The Curragh
History - Information - Contacts


The Irish Times
Tuesday July 5th 1859

The troops now stationed at The Curragh will, by order of General Lord Seaton, will be exercised on Friday in each week, weather permitting. Arrangements are in contemplation to run special trains from the Kings Bridge terminus to Newbridge or the Curragh, so as to enable the citizens as well as visitors to attend these reviews. It is the finest plain in Europe near a great city for a military spectacle on a grand scale.

It is likely that other regiments will be added to the troops at the Curragh, and that in the course of a few weeks the strengths of the forces will be augmented to nearly 20000 men. The various troops which will be thus collected are not all to be permanently stationed in the camp, but it is understood will remain there during the summer months in order that they may be perfect in drill and accustomed to move in large bodies together.

The Irish Times
Saturday July 16th 1859


The third grand review for the present season of the troops encamped at the Curragh and Newbridge, took place yesterday under the command of General Lord Seaton. The rumour that his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant was to be present, combined with the magnificence of the weather, attracted an exceedingly large assemblage. The whole Camp was under arms by half-past ten o’clock, soon after which the Scots Greys and 5th Lancers arrived from Newbridge.

At eleven o’clock all the troops, cavalry and infantry numbering nearly eleven thousand men, and consisting of the 1st  Royal Dragoons, the 2nd Dragoons, (or Scots Greys), the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, two troops of the Royal Horse Artillery, two field batteries of the Royal Artillery, the 10th Regiment (2nd Battalion), the 14th Regiment (2nd Battalion), the 16th Regiment (2nd Battalion), the 18th Royal Irish (2nd Battalion), the 55th Regiment, the 76th Regiment, the 2nd Staffordshire Militia, and the 2nd Lincolnshire Militia, were formed into position on the plain, stretching between the race course and the camp.

The opening movement was on the part of the Infantry (1st Brigade), who formed into contiguous columns facing the Grand Stand, a brigade of cavalry concentrating to their extreme right, supported by a troop of Horse Artillery. The 2nd Brigade of infantry, which occupied a position somewhat in advance to the right, received orders to form a junction with the extreme left of the line formed by the 1st Brigade, and accordingly, to effect this object, advanced in columns, with cavalry and artillery covering its right flank. The cavalry then formed into three lines, the 1st Royals in front, the Scots Greys next in position, and the 5th Lancers in support, and advancing towards the Standhouse, near which they halted, while at the same moment the infantry changed front to the same direction on it being supposed that the enemy was attacking Kildare. The 4th Brigade then advanced in front of the whole line as skirmishers, supported by companies of infantry in the same order. The enemy receiving them with a smart fire, they retired slowly on their supports, and the infantry deployed into line echelon, left in front. The cavalry was at the same time ordered to take ground to the left in column of troops, after which they wheeled into line, guarding the left flank of the entire army. A fire was opened along the whole line, and continued for some time, when the right flank was supposed to be thrown back by the left of the enemy, and the troops gradually retook their original positions fronting the Grand Stand. A well sustained file fire was then re-opened, while the artillery commenced a tremendous cannonade from either flank. The firing having ceased, the entire body of infantry, which occupied a rising ground, charged down the hill towards the Stand, en echelon of brigade, after which the cavalry charged across from the left in three lines the 1st Royals leading.

This terminated the imaginary engagement, and the troops then formed into one grand column, the cavalry in a smart trot, and the infantry in quick time. A large assemblage of spectators, comprising, in addition to the excursionists from Dublin, a large number of the neighbouring gentry, assembled to witness the marching past, on conclusion of which the troops dispersed to their respective quarters.  His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant was not present, although his presence was expected.

The Irish Times
Friday July 29th 1859

A grand review of over 10,000 men will be held at the Curragh Camp this day  under the command of Lieutenant General Lord Seaton, assisted by Major General Gascoigne, Major General Shirley, and Major General Parlby.


The Irish Times
Friday July 29th 1859


Kildare, July 27 – Another melancholy instance of the danger arising from imprudent bathing has just occurred in this neighborhood.

A fine young man, aged 21 years, a private in the 55th Regiment, at present stationed at the Curragh Camp, a servant of one of the officers, and who, by his good conduct, had won high opinion of his master, received permission on Sunday last to go a short distance from the camp to see the country in the immediate neighbourhood. Accompanied by three of his fellow servants he went to a village called Athgarvan, beside which the river Liffey flows, and forms a strong eddy, or sort of whirlpool, close to a flour mill, which is worked by its waters.

Induced by the extreme heat of the day and the tempting appearance of the water, they all determined on enjoying a bathe, although it is strictly forbidden for the soldiers of the Curragh to bathe anywhere unless accompanied by a commissioned or non-commissioned officer. Unfortunately none of the party knew how to swim and the place selected by them was very dangerous, being full of deep holes which sink down suddenly from a shallow part of the river. Into one of there this ill-fated young man got, without knowing his danger, and at once sunk to the bottom. Every effort was made to rescue him from death, but unfortunately without success, and strange to say his body was borne off by the violence of the current in that particular spot, and was not recovered until Tuesday afternoon. An inquest was held upon his remains and a verdict returned in accordance with above facts, his comrades, on their return to camp were placed under arrest, and are to be tried this day by Court Martial for transgressing orders.

Today the body of the drowned man was interred in the picturesque burying ground of Kildare Cathedral, and a large number of his fellow soldiers not only those of his own regiment but several from the other regiments at present on the Curragh were there evinced their sympathy and regret.


The Irish Times
Wednesday November 2nd 1859

Militia Movements

The Rogan North Lincolnshire Regiment  will march from the Curragh Camp this morning to Newbridge, thence per rail via, Dublin, en route to Newry, there to be stationed.

The 2nd Staffordshire Regiment will move from the Curragh, to this garrison (Dublin), on the 15th instant.

The Kerry Regiment of Militia have arrived at the Curragh Camp.


The Irish Times
Friday June 28th 1861

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will leave London on to-morrow (Saturday) for Dublin, en route to the Camp on the Curragh, Ireland., to take a round of military duty.


The Irish Times
Friday July 5th 1861


Owing to the heavy and incessant rain which fell on Wednesday night and during the early part of yesterday, the programme for the days proceedings at the Curragh Camp was not gone through. The morning was gloomy and dreary, the rain almost deluging the camp, and not a soldier was to be seen abroad, except the sentinels at the several posts, sheltering in the sentry boxes. The scene was much changed from the proceeding day, when thousands had assembled on the vast plain to witness a grand military pageant, presided over by the youthful prince. The booming of the guns could be heard for miles around, but yesterday a calm silence reigned throughout the camp, which contained within its numerous huts a vast section of a distinguished army. Wet weather in the camp does much to inure the soldier to the hardships of his profession, and wet weather at the encampment of the Curragh is perhaps the severest trail which can be applied, particularly to the troops under canvas for continuous and heavy rain renders the hard green sward marshy, and it is impossible to keep the rain out of the tents. The men under canvas consisting of the 11th Regiment, the 15th, a troop of 12th Royals, and two batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery., with their horses, suffered considerable inconvenience from the inclemency of the weather during the night of Wednesday and a great portion of yesterday. The canvas tents were literally deluged. About three o’clock in the afternoon of yesterday  the heavy clouds, the continuance of which portended , more rain began to clear away, and fine weather succeeded. A warm and general sunshine brightened up everything, and the camp quickly resumed its usual animated aspect. The sward which was wet and slippery under foot was quickly dried up by the warm sunshine, and the grass which had been so well trampled the preceding day looked green and fresh. The brigade review which was announced to take place during the early portion of the day did not, owing to the extreme wet . It was postponed today, when several brigades will be reviewed  in the presence of his Royal Highness. Notwithstanding the wetness of the morning, the prince left his quarters at an early hour, in company with some officers of the Grenadier Guards. He was present at general inspection of accoutrements which took place, and expressed himself much pleased with the internal arrangements of the camp. After the inspection his Royal Highness commenced his military duties, and was under drill for three hours, and received a vast amount of practical instruction. The drill took place in one of the large mess-rooms. His Royal Highness after his military duties had concluded partook of luncheon, after which in company with some officers of his regiment, he played a game of cricket in front of the square occupied by the 1st battalion of the Grenadier Guards. He subsequently played at a game called “croquet” of which his Royal Highness is particularly fond. Shortly after five o’clock he returned to his quarters where he dined in the evening with the officers of the guards. He has been all over the camp, and visited several of the principal quarters. Next to Aldershot, the past undulating plain of the Curragh is unquestionably the best position for an encampment, where thousands of men can be trained in the art of war, and endowed with all the qualities which constitute the soldier. Each regiment while stationed in Ireland is quartered for a time at the Curragh, and the result is most beneficial in improving the general condition of the army.  Owing to the stay of the Prince the troops will be put through a variety of exercises, and general reviews will take place each Wednesday, in the presence of the Prince and the Commander of the Forces. The men yesterday were engaged for a considerable time in various athletic sports, including cricket, quoits, etc, which were extensively carried out throughout the camp. We understand foot-races and other athletic sports will take place in presence of the Prince, which no doubt, will attract a large number of persons from town. The Prince whose great object is evidently to qualify himself in the distinguished profession which he has espoused, desires the greatest possible privacy, notwithstanding his every movement is chronicled, and the public kept acquainted with everything in which he takes part. As the visitors in the camp are likely to be very numerous, it would be well if some arrangements were made in reference to the  local Carmen, who demand the most exorbitant prices for conveying persons the smallest possible distance. Were it not for the well-appointed omnibus of Mr. Fishbourne, the carmen would, no doubt raise the tariff to anything their fancy would suggest. Upon the day of the review as much as six shillings were charged by Carmen for conveying persons about a mile and a-half up to the camp. To-day a brigade review will take place, and , should the day be auspicious, it will, no doubt, be largely attended.