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Gráig na Manach
View of Graiguenamanagh and the church from the River Barrow
View of Graiguenamanagh and the church from the River Barrow
Graiguenamanagh is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°32′00″N 6°57′00″W / 52.533333°N 6.95°W / 52.533333; -6.95Coordinates: 52°32′00″N 6°57′00″W / 52.533333°N 6.95°W / 52.533333; -6.95
CountyCounty Kilkenny
32 m (105 ft)
Irish Grid ReferenceS705440

Graiguenamanagh or Graignamanagh (Irish: Gráig na Manach, meaning "village of the monks") is a town in County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is located on the R705 regional road by the border with County Carlow on the River Barrow at the foot of Brandon Hill. It is home to Duiske Abbey,[1] the largest of the thirty-four medieval Cistercian abbeys in Ireland.

Public transport[edit]

Kilbride Coaches operate a route linking the town to Kilkenny via Gowran.[2]


The River Barrow, historically a significant highway, was developed as a commercial navigation in the mid seventeen hundreds and Graiguenamanagh served as the main 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 some one hundred pleasure craft.

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 and watersports are among the more popular pursuits of Graiguenamanagh area and with the South Leinster Way meandering through the lovely Barrow Valley and traversing nearby Brandon Hill, scope is provided for a gentle stroll or a vigorous, day-long hike. 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.

In the centre of the town, its handsome modern library features a comprehensive Local History Section. It provides an Internet Service to the public and, in addition to its other functions, hosts periodic art exhibitions. The very active Graiguenamanagh Historical Society also sponsors a series of talks and lectures at this venue during the winter season. Adjacent to the library is The Abbey Centre, the home of a Christian Art Gallery and a small museum. Here also for the genealogically inclined may be perused the Graiguenamanagh Parish Birth and Marriage Registers.

Duiske Abbey[edit]

View of the 13th-century nave in the early English style which was restored in 1974.[4]

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[edit]


  1. ^,52514017w
  2. ^
  3. ^ and 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.
  4. ^ Stalley, Roger (1987). The Cistercian Monasteries of Ireland. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 245. ISBN 0-300-03737-6.

Further reading[edit]

  • '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).