River Brickey Walk
The first section of this walk is along a grassy but solid road by the banks of the River Brickey and ends at the ruins of Knockmaun Castle.
During the 15th century the castle was owned by Sir Richard Osbourne. It was totally destroyed by Cromwell in 1650 before he entered Dungarvan. The river derives its name from the O'Brics, who were chieftains of the Deise, the Deise were a tribe who settled here in the 3rd century a.d. The riverbank¹s vegetation includes alder, willow and sally. There is interesting bird life to be seen, such as the kingfisher, grey wagtail and long-tailed tit, and occasionally the green sandpiper can be spotted here. The river was dredged as far as the castle in the 19th century as part of a proposed canal that was to connect with the Blackwater, but the project was never finished. The second section ascends from the Brickey valley at a 100ft/30m to Kilnafarna hill at 868ft/264m.
Location: The walk begins about 2 miles/3.2 km from Dungarvan. Follow the signs for Clashmore, which can be found at the second roundabout (towards Waterford) on the Dungarvan by-pass (N25). After crossing the bridge (appropriately called Twomile Bridge) take the road going right to begin the walk.
Directions: After about 400 yards/366m the tarred road veers right and the track continues straight on the grassy road for about 2 miles/3.2 km. About halfway along the track passes West Waterford Golf Club, which can be seen on the opposite bank of the river. Approaching the end of this stretch the ruins of the castle appear ahead, perched precariously on a sharp limestone knoll. The track bears to the left at the next junction and heads east in front of the castle. Just beyond the castle ruins, at the opposite side of the road, are the ruins of Knockmaun Church. Turn right immediately after the castle as the track continues south ascending out of the valley. It follows a quiet narrow road, which has a steep gradient and veers left off Knockaunabouchala Hill with its TV mast. It continues around Kilnafarna Hill, whose mast can be reached via the spur road to give an excellent 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside. After two left turns the track returns back down the valley. A right taken at the next junction returns the walker to the start.
Options: This long walk can be divided into two shorter walks.
- The first walk goes as far as the castle and returns by the road to the south.
- The second walk goes to the top of Kilnafarna Hill and back.
Distance: 7.5 miles/12 km
Time: 3 hours
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