After passing under Ferrymountgarrett Bridge and Ringwood House on the north bank, the River Nore joins the River Barrow on the starboard side.  Coming downriver, the junction is sometimes passed before it is noticed.   The River Nore is navigable 8 miles to Inistioge, where the quay dries out at low tide and flat-bottomed boats can sit or alternatively there is a pool opposite, where boats can remain afloat.  It is not possible to navigate the final 3km / 2 miles for 2 hours either side of high water: and there are obstacles downstream as the tide falls.  Stay mid channel going upstream.



After turning up into the Nore, you pass farmland and woodland until Ballyneale, where the remains of a coal depot survive on the west bank.  An ancient church set in the valley of Glensensaw or St. Xavier was connected to Duiske and a monastery in Rosbercon.  Along this stretch, otters are frequently spotted. 

On the east bank, Russellstown House is visible above the treeline and a large lime kiln sits on the bank. Further up river, Rathsnagadan or Ballingoth provides a pretty view with holiday cottages, a slipway, quayside and many moored cots and boats.  At the top and bottom of the tide, the slipway is a hive of activity with 24 licenced cots working out of this spot and they can be seen working in pairs from the Red House down to Ballyneale.  Dysartmore Estate stands on the opposite side of the river.



Up river from here, Clodiagh River runs along a rocky riverbed and plummets 18m before flowing into the Nore.  The waterfall is described as follows: In a romantic creek up the Nore is Clodagh waterfall; it is a cascade of great beauty falling down a rugged precipice of about 60 feet. -A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837).  The notorious robber Freaney is reputed to have stashed his loot at the bottom of the waterfall. 

St Brendan’s church upstream at Clodiagh Bridge, dates from 1700; and is so well hidden that it was bypassed by English forces when they were trying to destroy all of the Roman Catholic churches in Ireland in 1798.  The waterfall is accessible via Coolnamuck Quay or by road, via a wooded track although the final approach is through dense woodland and down a steep bank.


Brownsford Mines

The river then turns into a steep-sided horseshoe bend before arriving at Brownsford Quay.  These quays are traditional access points for local fishing cots and are not adequate berths for cruisers.  At this access point, the track turns away from the river and zigzags its way up the steep bank until it turns left onto a woodland track.  This woodland track provides dramatic views down onto the river, up the Nore Valley and across to Brandon Hill.  There are large specimen trees along the route including some unconventional plantation trees such as eucalyptus.   As the trail starts to descend, it approaches two small chasms in a rock outcrop and the old mines: It is not advised to proceed any further.


Brownsford Castle

Above the bank, stands Brownsford Castle, for many centuries a FitzGerald stronghold.  The castle was acquired in 1867 by a landlord (Garvey), who set about evicting his tenants.There were people who had built their own stone cabins with their bare hands in Brownsford, which was in itself a village with a row of houses…The landlord, the police, under the charge of the Resident Magistrate..and the crow-bar brigade (from Thomastown) arrived and.. the work of demolition continued until twenty families had been left with only the bare walls of their homes standing.. the cries and screams that rent the air are more easily imagined than described…. taking shelter wherever they could, more frequently than not within those bare walls, their lives wrecked.” Garvey built the walls around his castle from the stones of the cabins he had destroyed. Many families walked away and up the hill to cross over to New Ross to board the emigration vessel to Quebec.

Continuing on up the river, waterfalls cascade down the east banks into the river.  Woodland gives way to pastureland and Clonamery Church, where St Bronndan founded a monastery, which was in use until Edward Fitzgerald fell at the Battle of Aughrim in 1691.  Mass was then said on a rock at the foot of Brandon until Clodiagh church was built.  Inistioge Church displays a stone carving from Clonamery, depicting a mermaid, said to be found in other Churches of St Brendan. 


The Red House

The Red House is a landmark for boat users on the west bank, marking the limit of the navigation, except for high tide.  It was once a water inn and then a restaurant.  It is possible to anchor here at all states of the tide but down river from here can get tricky at low tide.

On the riverbank and adjacent to the house, the track crosses a small bridge and leads up a steep bank, at the top of which stands the ruins of the swiss cottage, a component of Lady Tighe’s original river walk.  The river walk continues past the swiss cottage following Brownsford Stream up river.  Halfway up the path to the cottage a bridge has been constructed across the stream to afford a view of a waterfall and of the stream running down to the original stone bridge.

Section 31: Section Chart