Graiguenamanagh / 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.

graiguenamanagh, tinnahinch, carlow, ireland, barrow way, autumn,

Graiguenamanagh in Autumn from the Barrow Way on the Tinnahinch side of the river.

Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh

Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh, with heritage barges

Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh

Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh

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. The timber ceiling is lovely and constructed using mortice, tenon and pegs – not a single nail in sight. Take time to walk through the town with its great selection of shops, pubs and music although sadly many of the small pubs have closed down.

Saint moling statue, Ireland

Saint Moling statue, Duiske Abbey.

If you like long walks you 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 Lock.

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

Tinnahinch Lock, Carlow, River Barrow.

Tinnahinch Lock, River Barrow.

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

Lower Tinnahinch lock near Graiguenamanagh


Doyles hardware store & bar, Graignamanagh

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


Google Map is here

See the walking guide for more information