Graiguenamanagh is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas in the southeast of Ireland.
It is located on the border between counties Kilkenny and Carlow, 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 uses the name Graiguenamanagh to refer to the entire town.
From Irish: Gráig na Manach, meaning “Village of the Monks”. The town is at the foot of Brandon Hill (the highest mountain in County Kilkenny). And is home to Duiske Abbey, the largest of the thirty-four medieval Cistercian abbeys in Ireland.
Graiguenamanagh has fantastic series of statues of monks.
12 of them depict the various activities carried out by the original Cistercian monks of Duiske Abbey. In the center 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.
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.
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.
If you are interested in crafts, check out Duiske Glass Gift Shop and Cushendale Woollen Mills where traditional natural-fibre processing is still practiced.
You have to see the amazing floral building (Graig Garden) located in the center of the town.
Views of Graiguenamanagh from the River Barrow are spectacular. I fell in love with this town.
Graiguenamanagh is a remarkable combination of mountain views, lush rolling hills, forest and river valleys, the rich heritage of historical buildings, canal boating, river and hill walks, crafts, and traditional pubs.
Location of Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny:
Below are photos I took in July 2021.