|Bennettsbridge Droichead Bineád|
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Bennettsbridge (Irish: Droichead Binéid, meaning 'Bennet's bridge') is a village in County Kilkenny in Ireland. It is situated on the River Nore 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of Kilkenny city, in the centre of the county. Bennettsbridge is a census town, and has population of 745 as of the 2016 census.
The village is on the R700 road at a stone bridge crossing of the Nore between Kilkenny and Thomastown. It has become a craft centre in recent years, with several pottery and craft producers located at the old mill beside the weir.
Bennettsbridge owes its name to Saint Benet and its strategic importance to its position at a major crossing of the river Nore. The first bridge was built on the site in 1285 and was dedicated to the saint, and was important for transport until the establishment of the railway. The current bridge dates from the 18th century after the original bridge was swept away in a flood in 1763. There were flour-mills at the weir and there was a Royal Irish Constabulary police station in the village.
Bennettsbridge is located along the river Nore at a ford of the river about 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Gowran. There are two old mills downstream from the bridge. Ducks and swans and other river life are present in abundance.
The village is served daily by Bus Éireann route 73 (Waterford –Kilkenny- Athlone). Kilbride Coaches' New Ross to Kilkenny route provides two journeys each way daily but none on Sundays. The first journey arrives into Kilkenny at 08.30 and the last return journey is at 18.00 making commuting possible. On Thursdays Bus Éireann route 374 provides a journey in each direction along the same route. Bus services to Rosslare Europort are available from New Ross and Waterford
In the summer, a scheduled Ring A Link bus allows visitors to access local craft outlets before taking a riverside walk back to Kilkenny.
There is record of Bennett's Bridge in 1393, when John Midleton, guardian of the chapel of St. Mary received licence to fortify the bridge. The ancient viaduct was destroyed by the great flood of 1793. The flood washed away many of the major bridges crossing the River Nore and so a comprehensive rebuilding programme was initiated in the eighteenth century. Kilkenny architect William Robertson worked on it in 1826, with the design of the bridge attributed (according to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage) to George Smith. Other bridges, built or rebuilt in the same period, include Green's Bridge in Kilkenny City, Thomastown Bridge on the River Nore, Graiguenamanagh Bridge on the River Barrow, Inistioge Bridge on the Nore, Goresbridge on the Barrow, and the bridge at Mount Juliet.
Parks and recreation
Nore Valley Park, 3.2 km from Bennettsbridge, includes a camping and caravan park, activity centre, open farm, farm trail, crazy golf course and a picnic and barbecue area. There is lake fishing at Wallslough Village.
Arts and crafts
Nicholas Mosse Pottery was established by Nicholas Mosse in 1976. It is located at an old riverside mill in Bennettsbridge. It is possible to watch potters at work as they produce pottery in the style of Irish Spongeware which was a traditional 18th Century type of pottery.
Moth to a Flame is a local candle maker based on the Bennettsbridge road on the way into the village coming from Kilkenny city.
- Noel Skehan, former Kilkenny hurling goalkeeper.
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