From the Red House, navigate close to the east bank and then north bank, keeping the islands to port all the way to Inistioge.


Inistioge Quay

The old quay at Inistioge is the limit of the navigation and dries out at low tide. There are rocks and shallows in the river upstream from the quay. Flat-bottomed boats can sit at the quay wall or alternatively there is a pool opposite, where boats can remain afloat.  The slipway adjacent to the quay is very popular with swimmers.  A road leads from the quay, across the bridge and into the village.  Inistioge is a beautiful village and there are restaurants, cafes, pubs and a shop.


Inistioge Village

Inistioge was the location of an early Christian monastic community founded by Saint Columcille.  The earliest recorded mention of Inistioge is in the C16th Annals of the Four Masters, referring to a battle between the kingdom of Osraighi and an army of Norsemen in the year 962 AD.

The Augustinian Priory founded in 1210 by Sir Thomas FitzAnthony Walsh, is now in ruins and its ivy-clad tower is commonly known as the Black Castle.  The church of St. Mary, a 16th century structure incorporates the medieval nave and Lady Chapel of the older structure, and has its own White Tower.   Interesting features include monuments to the Tighe family.  Fragments from the mediaeval cloister are incorporated into the perimeter walls of the parish church of St Columcille (RC), erected in 1836.

The castellated edifice on the west side of the village square was originally a C14th merchant’s house. The obelisk commemorates David Fitzgerald, Baron of Brownsford (d.1621). Sarah Fownes Tighe built an almshouse for local widows in 1780, and William Tighe’s s widow erected the fountain in his memory in 1879.




Nore Trail

There is also an option in the village park, to turn up river and follow the Nore Trail to Thomastown.  The path follows the riverbank and boardwalks, bridges and stiles are provided as needed. The Nore Valley trail will eventually lead from Kilkenny to New Ross.


Rock Road Walk

On entering the village square, turn left to come back down the west bank on the rock road, which is part of the South Leinster Way.  Approximately 100m along this road, there is an option to take a pathway to the right up the hill to Mount Sandford Castle and then on to Woodstock Estate. Following the rock road and ignoring the Woodstock option; the trail passes the island, canal and slipway on the opposite bank. The trail is bordered by a steep rock outcrop and woodland.  Along the route, a short pathway diverts to an old cold store above the main trail.  As the trail follows the river southwards, it passes the islands and eventually comes back to the Red House and the waterfall.


Mount Sandford Castle

The path to Mount Sandford Castle ascends steeply but the castle offers spectacular views over Inistioge, the island, canal and the River Nore valley.  The folly was erected in 1769.  Turning right, up the hill, the trail joins the main driveway into Woodstock Estate. 

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