Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Messing about on the River.

I am starting out on familiar ground, but to me this is a most beautiful walk. It is the River walk from Cashel to Golden. As you leave Cashel you head down the Bohereen Bocht leaving Hoare abbey on your lefthand side. You travel down this road for less than 1 mile where the road swings around at a 90 degree turn to the right, straight ahead is a gate and to the left of the gate is a stile. You enter here and follow the laneway down to camus weir, please remember you are now on the property of Camus park stud, so a little respect please and that goes for each landowners property along the way. You will have seen the black posts by now with the yellow walkers on them you follow these to your left from camus weir. As you follow the river suir you first come to a place called Castlelake, If you look across the river you will see the ruins of Ballinahinch castle. You continue down river to Mantlehill and you come to the islands, a series of islands in the river which are a haven for wildlife. Along here you can often see otters feeding in early morning especially. As you continue down from the islands the next feature you will see is the Moate, this is where the Multeen meets the Suir and as you look across the river you will see the seat set back into the moate. This is a well known fishing spot, but also a beautiful peaceful place to just sit and relax, enjoying the sounds of nature. You are now getting near the village of Golden, one of the next places you pass is known locally as Monkscell, which was a leaper collony in medieval times. You will recognise this area by the steep embankment on your left,which is now over grown, as you leave you will also see the 0ld stone walls and entrance(Beehive huts were visable here up to the 1930,s note the name). The next field down if you look to your left you will see a very old stone bridge which crosses the mill stream if you go across the bridge you are in the field where King William camped and it was at this camp that the charter of Cashel was signed in 1690. Back to the river and as you continue you will now see up to your left the old protestant church in Golden. A little further down just as you come into Golden you have on the left the old mill which I understand was at one stage a work house. You are now in the beautiful village of Golden( no favoritism here), this is your opportunity to grab some refreshments etc. Some people may not want to continue on to the next section of the walk, but I can assure you it is worth continuing.
You now cross the bridge in Golden with the Norman castle on the right in the middle of the bridge. You pass the Bridge house pub and take an immediate left you are now on the Abbey rd. again you follow the walking signs as you cannot follow the river the whole way to Athassel Abbey. The Abbey is only about 1 mile from Golden and on your way you will pass a beautiful weir on the river. But the real beauty hits you when you see Athassel Abbey, situated on the bank of the river, this place is a gem. I have often said that if Athassel abbey were in any other county it would be worth alot of money to the local economy. In Nov. 2008 a conservation plan was launched for the Abbey, we thought that at last something was going to be done. You can imagine our disappointment when in the course of the launch, we learned that the plan was a 50 year plan. Fantastic we now have a 50 year plan coming 50 years to late. Some people however may feel that the Abbey would lose some of its magic if it became to comercialised, perhaps at some stage we can hit a happy medium. Even do we refer locally to it as Athassel abbey, it was in fact an Augustinian priory built in the late 12th century by William the Burgo. In its day this impressive site covered 4 acres, with a thriving town outside the priory walls. The town was sacked twice however during the 1300's and little evidence of the town remains today. It is very easy to forget time when you visit Athassel and I have little doubt that a visit will be enjoyed by young and old alike. Unfortunetly access is over a style and there is no proper path to the abbey, so it may be difficult for some people to visit. You do not have to over exert yourself on this walk and you can arrange to leave a car in Golden if you do not fancy a return walk to cashel, the walk is weather dependant as you will have flooding e.t.c. If you fancy a spot of fishing while out on the river permits are available from the fishing shop in Ladyswell Cashel or from the Bridge House in Golden. If you want further help you can contact me at

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