“Freedom on the Water” will take you from the Jetty in the centre of Athy along the River Barrow and its idyllic surroundings, passing under the historic Horse Bridge, leading to Ardreigh.
While travelling into Ardreigh you will pass under Ardreigh Lifting Bridge, an area that is steeped in history and folklore. You will then experience the thrill of passing through Ardreigh Lock, watch the crew work the lock as they were hundreds of years ago.
You travel along the Barrow Navigation passing Malone’s Weir which you branch off to the Canal which is the longest section which is 2 miles long. You then pass under Bunberry Bridge, and Kilmorony Bridge. After that you will be passing the ruins of Kilmorony House which was built in 1752 and fell into disrepair after being sold off in 1947. It was owned by the Weldon Family with an extensive military history attached to generations of the family. You then pass by the remains of Grangemellon Castle sometimes known as St Ledger’s Castle and was the home of John St Ledger (Handsome Jack) who was governor of Ceylon and also founding member of the original Hellfire Club.
It is said his ghost haunts the ground and can be seen traveling from the gate in a ghostly coach driven by 4 horse and a headless coachman.
You then pass under, Tankerstown Bridge which shows evidence of the horse drawn canal barges scored into the stone work of the bridge.
You next come to Levitstown Lifting Bridge, which is a fine example of the 18th Century engineering and one of only a handful of working examples still in existences.
You then head into Levitstown Lock which is nestled near the imposing ruins of, Levitstown Mill. The Mill malted barley for Guinness’s until it was destroyed by fire in 1943. In later years the ruins were part of a mini TV series Mannion’s of America which gave Pierce Brosnan his big start in life, David Soul, Kate Mulgrew, Simon Mc Corkindale and Peter Gilmore from the Onedin Line were part of the cast.
You will then continue on your tranquil trip that will leave you feeling relaxed and in awe of your surroundings. You arrive at Maganey Bridge which was built in 1790.
Maganey played its part in history, as far back as 1642 Lord Mountgarrett with 8,000 Confederacy troops took up battle positions and intercepted the Earl of Ormond ‘s army but he suffered defeat at the hands of the latter.
Maganey is also the site of a memorial commemorating the actions of volunteers who blocked the rail line on Easter Sunday 1916 to stop British reinforcements getting to Dublin from the South East.
On reaching Maganey you have the choice to have lunch on board “Freedom on the Water” or a river bank lunch, bring your own food or choose to add our delicious picnic basket and enjoy a truly unique experience of dining on board, before the pleasure of your return trip.
You will have many opportunities along the route for photographs. Your skipper and crew will give you an insightful view into life and history of the Barrow Navigation.
With any tour we are flexible to your requirements in advance of tour. We can offer the option of walking back to Athy on the beautiful Barrow Navigation towpath.
To personalise your trip please contact Athy Boat Tours 087 4335350.
We reserve the right to refuse to allow any person on board the boat under the influence of excess alcohol.
Picnic baskets can be included on your request for an extra €10 per person