Town in Leinster, Ireland

Graiguenamanagh or Graignamanagh (Irish: Gráig na Manach, meaning 'village of the monks') is a town on the border between counties Kilkenny and Carlow in southeastern Ireland. It is located on the River Barrow, which demarcates the border between the two counties. Historically, the settlement on the eastern side of the Barrow was called Tinnahinch. This name is still in use by Carlow County Council, which refers to the town as "Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch" in all official documents, whereas Kilkenny County Council solely use the name Graiguenamanagh to refer to the entire town.[1][2] The town is at the foot of Brandon Hill and is home to Duiske Abbey,[3] the largest of the thirty-four medieval Cistercian abbeys in Ireland.

Public transport

The town is located on the R705 regional road. Kilbride Coaches operate a route linking the town to Kilkenny via Gowran.[4]


The River Barrow, historically a significant highway, was developed as a commercial navigation in the mid-18th century and Graiguenamanagh served as a base for commercial barges operating on the river until barge traffic ceased in 1959. The barges that at one time lined the quaysides are now replaced by pleasure craft.[citation needed]

Near to the town are the ruined remains of the early Christian church of Ullard, founded by Saint Fiachra in the seventh century. St Fiachra subsequently moved to France, where he is known as St Fiacre, and founded the celebrated monastery at Meaux. He is the patron saint of gardeners and taxi drivers; French cabs are often known as fiacres in his honour. Some few miles downstream from Graiguenamanagh the ruins of the ancient monastic establishment at St. Mullins are situated in an area of great beauty and historic interest.



Walking, cycling the Barrow towpath and watersports are among the more popular activities in the Graiguenamanagh area and the South Leinster Way runs across the Barrow Valley and nearby Brandon Hill.[citation needed] The Barrow's aquatic facilities include fishing, swimming, kayaking and canoeing. Graigue, as the town is popularly known, is home to a rowing club, a canoe club, an athletics club, the G.A.A (hurling and Gaelic football) and a soccer club, Highview Athletic.[citation needed] Graiguenamanagh a fantastic series of statues of monks, 12 of them depicting the various activities carried out by the original Cistercian monks of Duiske Abbey. In the centre of the town is a public library with a comprehensive local history section. The Graiguenamanagh Historical Society sponsors a series of talks and lectures at the library during the winter season. Adjacent to the library is The Abbey Centre, the home of a Christian Art Gallery and a small museum. Genealogical research materials are available through the Graiguenamanagh Parish Birth and Marriage Registers.[citation needed]

Duiske Abbey

View of the 13th-century nave in the early English style which was restored in 1974.[6]

The Duiske Abbey, which takes its name from the little river Duiske (Blackwater) which joins the Barrow here, was founded by William Marshall in 1204 and was suppressed by Henry VIII in 1536. Significant remains of the monastery exist to the rear of the houses that line the east side of Lower Main Street. The abbey's large "Early English" gothic church, was restored in the 1970s and in its northern aisle, a model shows the monastery as it was in the fourteenth century.

See also


  1. ^ "Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch". barrowvalley.ie.
  2. ^ "Tinnahinch Local Area Plan" (PDF). Carlow County Council.
  3. ^ "Duiske River, Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland".
  4. ^ "Graiguenamanagh - Kilkenny Route | Kilbride Coaches".
  5. ^ http://www.cso.ie/census and www.histpop.org. Post-1956 figures include Tinnahinch and straddle the Carlow-Kilkenny border. For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee "On the accuracy of the pre-famine Irish censuses" in Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1981) p54, and also "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850" by Joel Mokyr and Cormac Ó Gráda in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov., 1984), pp. 473-488.
  6. ^ Stalley, Roger (1987). The Cistercian Monasteries of Ireland. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 245. ISBN 0-300-03737-6.

Further reading

  • 'Graiguenamanagh:A Town and its People', John Joyce,(Graigue Publications,1993).
  • 'The Old Grey Mouse', Sean Swayne, (The Abbey Centre,1995).
  • 'Tinnahinch: A Village within a Town', Owen Doyle & Colm Walshe, (Graiguenamanagh Historical Society, 2003).
  • 'The O'Leary Footprint' (Philip E. Murphy and J. David Hughes eds), (The O'Leary Archive,2004).
  • 'Graiguenamanagh Families', Owen Doyle & Colm Walshe, (Graiguenamanagh Historical Society,2006).
  • 'Graiguenamanagh:A Varied Heritage', John Joyce, (Graiguenamanagh Historical Society, 2009).

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