Graignamanagh / Tinnahinch

Graiguenamanagh Regatta, August 2014

Graignamanagh Regatta, August 2014

In Irish, the name means ‘grange of the monks’. Known locally as ‘Graig’ the waterside town is home to former Barrow bargemen’s families even today. Graiguenamangh is in Co. Kilkenny, while Tinnahinch, on the east bank, is in Co. Carlow. The beautiful bridge links the two counties and dates from 1767 when a canal system was being built on the Barrow to improve river navigation.

Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh

Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh, with heritage barges

Before the bridge and perched above the town is historic Duiske Abbey, now beautifully restored. Norman monks from Stanley Abbey, Wiltshire, founded it in 1204. Take time to walk through the town with its great selection of shops, pubs and music. Those of you who like long walks can take the road to Brandon Hill or head for Tinnahinch bridge and join the South Leinster Way long-distance walking trail. Each August, Graiguenamanagh hosts a very good Book Fair – search “Town of Books”.

 

Graiguenamanagh from the bridge

Graiguenamanagh from the bridge

The huge working barges carried up to 60 tons of cargo with a crew of 3-4. Working in all weathers against the clock, the bargemen needed immense physical strength (no cranes to load or unload) and great skill to manage the barges. Boats were timed through the locks by Grand Canal Company inspectors.

Graiguenamanagh bridge from Tinnahinch

Graiguenamanagh bridge from Tinnahinch

Jim Gill, leighlinbridge, river barrow bargeman

Jim Gill at the tiller in Leighlinbridge. Jim Gill is a former River Barrow bargeman from Graiguenamanagh who worked on the boats from the age of 17.

Heritage Barge 78M shown below still has it’s hybrid diesel/steam Bollinder engine which had to be started with a blow lamp!

78M heritage barge at Tinnahinch, County Carlow. Photo by James Burke

78M heritage barge at Tinnahinch, County Carlow. Photo by James Burke

Lower Tinnahinch lock, river barrow, ireland, barrow valley, lock,

Lower Tinnahinch lock near Graiguenamanagh

 

Doyles hardware store & bar, Graignamanagh

Doyles hardware store & bar, Graignamanagh – visited by Oz Clarke & James May in the video below:

 

Google Map is here

See the walking guide for more information