The Black Abbey church founded in 1225 is the focal point of Black Abbey square and the Abbey street area. Adjacent are elements of the medieval Kilkenny City walls and the Black Freren Gate, which is the sole remaining Kilkenny City gate still in place. There are wonderful walks through the medieval streets and lanes in this historic quarter of Kilkenny City.
Black Abbey from Abbey street. Copyright: Keep Kilkenny Beautiful.
Black Abbey square. Copyright: Keep Kilkenny Beautiful.
Abbey street and Black Freren Gate, Kilkenny Copyright: Keep Kilkenny Beautiful.
Colourful flowers on Black Abbey square. Copyright: Keep Kilkenny Beautiful.
The aim of the 5 year project is to identify, quantify and improve the Bregagh river, the valley, it’s habitat and environs.
The Bregagh river is a tributary of the river Nore which rises to the south west of Kilkenny city. The river meanders through the greater southern and western environs of Kilkenny City until it reaches the Waterbarrracks which includes the holy “Kenny’s Well”, and local amenity soccer pitches. It then flows on in through the City centre from the “Black Cat” through Irish town.
The Bregagh is the ancient boundary between the two historic sections of the City: Hightown (English town) and Irishtown. Part of the City walls follow the route of the river as it flows past the ancient Black Abbey towards the point where it joins the mighty river Nore at St Francis Abbey Brewery (Smithwicks/ Diageo).
The Bregagh is an integral part of our city’s history and it has brought wild life and nature in to the urban space for centuries. The river was a renowned trout hatchery but fish stocks were decimated by fish kills in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Work by anglers organisations, the Fisheries Board, City Authorities and KKB member and Kilkenny Angler, Elaine Bradshaw has seen fish stocks reintroduced on a limited scale in recent years with some success. Following initial survey work and river cleaning in 2009 the KKB has launched the main project. The steering group which is chaired by KKB member David Fitzgerald includes the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Kilkenny City Authorities, Fisheries organisations and Kilkenny angler associations.