A-Z Placenames of the Three Sisters

My wife Deena and I have participated and/or coordinated an event for every year of Heritage week since 2005. For this years event we initiated an online project exploring the placenames along the Three Sister River network of the Barrow, Nore and Suir. The event ran from Saturday 15th with twice daily storys from guest authors and concluded on Sunday 23rd August, Water Heritage Day with a new webpage; An A-Z of Placenames of the Three Sisters.

These rivers have provided a vibrant artery and resource for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. Families were reared on the rivers and it sustained fishing, boating, recreation and transport. Each headland, bay and in many cases even rocks had/have names associated with their locations. What follows are the names I have managed to capture. I have no doubt that this will be added to in the coming months. Any feedback or ideas welcomed to tidesntales@gmail.com

A

  • Arthurstown, Co Wexford.
  • Ardfinnan, Co Tipperary – a beautiful village to visit at any time of year
  • Athassel Abbey another magnificent Cistercian ruin in Tipperary on the Suir
  • Athy, Co Kildare on the River Barrow
Arthurstown Quay
Annah Castle, Kilkenny. On the River Barrow below New Ross
River Anner as it joins the Suir. Redmond O Brien photo

B

Barron Quay, Waterford – Located between Cheekpoint and Passage East
Bingledies – The bouy here marks this placename – used by salmon fishermen at Cheekpoint. It lies off Faithlegg close to the container terminal at Belview Port. Origins unknown to me I’m afraid
Butlers Slip – Cheekpoint

C

  • Clock Tower on Waterfords quays – dating to 1864 it could tell the time no matter where you stood on the quay, an important function when steam meant ships could depart to a schedule, rather than the wind or tide.
  • Cheekpoint Quay
  • Campile Pill and village, Co Wexford
  • Carrick Beg, Carrick On Suir
  • Carlow Town on the River Barrow
  • Crooke, Co Waterford
  • Cuan-na-dTri-Uisce.  An ancient name associated with the harbour area, basically the harbour of the three waters or rivers.  While another was Cuan-na-Greinne, the harbour of the Sun
  • Clashganny, River Barrow
  • Clonmel, Co Tipperary
  • Coolbunnia, a townland that is located below Cheekpoint on the Waterford side of the estuary
  • Connors Bay – Hook Peninsula, Co Wexford
Cahir Castle on the River Suir, Co Tipperary. Photo courtesy of Brian Walsh
Cleary’s Quay, Killown on the River Barrow. John Seymour lived in a nearby house. Note limekiln in the undergrowth
Meeting of the three sisters at Cheekpoint and down the estuary. As seen and captured by Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

D

  • Devils Bit – the origins of the River Suir
  • Dunbrody Abbey lies along the Campile Pill and has been a placename and a landmark on the rivers since the 13th Century
  • Dunmore East, one of the principal fishing harbours in the Irish state and built originally as the mail packet station for Southern Ireland
  • Duncannon Co. Wexford, on the Hook peninsula
  • Dunmore East Lighthouse
  • Dollar Bay – Hook Peninsula
Dollar Point, Co Wexford, on the River Barrow.
Dunmore East seen through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations
Dunbrody visitor experience New Ross, Co Wexford.
Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

E

Lady Esmondes Castle or House at Ballinlaw, Co Kilkenny. As seen from Ferry Point Great Island. Photo courtesy of Redmond O’Brien

F

  • Faithlegg House and Golf Course overlook the River Suir below Waterford City, and the georgian mansion was built originally for the local landlord.
  • Foxes Hole – located below Waterford City on the kilkenny shoreline, close to Gyles Quay
  • Ferrybank – on the Kilkenny riverbank of Waterford city and an historic name associated with travel
  • Faithlegg salt marsh and Special Area of Conservation
  • Farney Castle, Co Tipperary
Suir flowing under the new Fiddown Bridge (1983), Co Kilkenny. Looking east or downriver
Fiddown wooden Toll Bridge
Forty Steps at Creaden Head, Co Waterford.
Ford Channel, River Suir. Looking south from Kilkenny shore, Little Island on the opposite bank.
Redmond O Brien Photo
Faithlegg Salt Marsh, Co Waterford. On the banks of the River Suir. As seen through the creative lens of
Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

G

Great Island Quay, Co Wexford. Barrow Railway viaduct in background leading across to Drumdowney Co Kilkenny
Gyles Quay on the Suir, Co Kilkenny. Looking towards the Kings Channel around Little Island
Glenbarrow/Clamp Hole Waterfall. Slieve Bloom Mountains, the source of the R. Barrow.
Photo credit Redmond O Brien
Grannagh Castle. Co Kilkenny. On the banks of the River Suir.
As seen through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

H

  • The Hell Hole lies on the Hook Peninsula
  • The Hospital is only a fishermans landmark now, an old quarantine hospital situated above Passage East on the Waterford shore
  • The Hook lighthouse – stands at the entrance to Waterford Harbour
Holy Cross, Tipperary on the River Suir. Photo courtesy of Brian Walsh
Hurthill, Co Waterford, looking down the estuary with Passage East on the right, Ballyhack Co Wexford on the opposite bank
Hurthill, dredger passing down
Hennerbrys Cottage at Ballinlaw Co Kilkenny – From the River Barrow

I Inistioge, Co Kilkenny

J

Johnny’s Lane – Crooke, Passage East, Co Waterford

St. John’s Pill, Waterford City
Jetty Sleepers at Faithlegg. What remains of a victorial era pier or Jetty from which the Power family of Faithlegg House accessed their steam yacht

K

The Suir flowing downriver under the Kilsheelan Bridge Co Tipperary

L

M

  • Maganey, Co Kildare. On the River Barrow
  • Moran’s Poles, Cheekpoint. A breakwater and mud bank and traditional mooring point for fishermen and their craft
  • Minaun – Overlooks the estuary at Cheekpoint, a prominent river landmark
  • Metal Man – on Newtown Head, Tramore Co Waterford
  • Mount Tower, Cheekpoint
Mount Congreve House and Gardens on the Suir, Above Waterford city
Molfuay Quay, Kilkenny. On the Ford, River Suir
Minaun, Co Waterford
As captured through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

N Nuke or spelled Nook by others lies on the Wexford side of the estuary, along the Shelburne Banks

O Ormonde Castle, Carrick On Suir, Co Tipperary

P

  • Passage East – names associated with the village from the 1940’s
  • Port Lairge. Gaelic name for Waterford; Port (Loch or lake to some) Lairge (tigh).  Some claim it to be the port of a chap named Lairge, including some speculations on our national loganim site. Most online sources say it’s a descriptive term of the shape of river and land at the city and its similarity to a persons thigh.
Piltown Quay and triple lime kilns (also Culletons) located on the River Barrow above Great Island
Point Lighthouse at Russianside, Cheekpoint, Co Waterford
The Pink Rock Bridge seen through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations. And yes, I realise it has another given name. But not for me.
Passage East, Co Waterford. As seen through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

Q

R

  • Ringville NS – Overlooking the River Barrow and Ballinlaw, Co Kilkenny
  • Rochestown is a townland lying along the Kilkenny shoreline of the River Barrow
  • Russianside, Cheekpoint. Situated below the river looking across to Nuke and Buttermilk Castle.
  • Ryans Shore. The strand that stretches below Cheekpoint towards Passage East. Ryans Quay is also located along it and the home of the Ryans still stands, although it has seen many owners since.
Riverwalk Memorial above Carrick On Suir on the Blueway, near Deerpark. Dedicated to all those men who fished or walked the river
Red Iron (Suir) Bridge
Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations
Ryan’s Shore, Cheekpoint. As captured through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations.
Ryan’s Quay, at Sunrise. Restored traditional boat Kitty tied up

S

Sheag Rock at Cheekpoint, Co Waterford – origins of the village name (most probably)
Sherlocks Quay, Great Island
Snow Hill Light Co Kilkenny. Container ship being guided into Belview, Port of Waterford
The magnificent views from Slieve Coilte, Co Wexford overlooking the harbour.
Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

T Meeting of the Three Sisters – the three rivers meet at Cheekpoint, Co Waterford and it was once a popular geographical attraction.

Tom Poors Quay, above Ballyhack in Co Wexford. (Poor is possible derived from Power)
Templetown on the Hook Peninsula
Thomas Francis Meagher Bridge on the River Suir.
As captured through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

U Shanoon, Sean Uaimh – “Old Cave” Ok a bit of a reach, but I needed at least one U! Actually there are serveral cave placenames around Dunmore but the tend to be more along the coast as I understand it

V Vadrefjordr – the Norse name associated with Waterford

W

White Stone – Kilmannock Embankment on Great Island. Cheekpoint fishermen’s foul mark
White Horse, below Ballinlaw, Co Kilkenny.
View from the White Horse looking downriver towards the Barrow Bridge
Waterford City. As captured through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations
Woodstown Beach, Co Waterford seen through the creative lens of Mark Power. Waterford Epic Locations

X

Y

Yellow Rock – a salmon driftnet placename, located below Snow Hill, Co Kilkenny. Nets that drifted to the Yellow Rock on high Water could stay in the area for a considerable time after the tide had started to run edd due to a slack tide in the location

Z

Many thanks to a variety of people who have helped me with this project. Obviously its not completed, and perhaps such a project never can be. I really appreciate the assistance of Brian Forristal, a kindred spirit who loves the lower Barrow and writes beautifully about it. Thanks for the photos of Brian Walsh and Redmond O’Brien and those awsome videos of Mark Power. Ray McGrath has helped me through previous published work that he has done. I also owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have contributed stories to this project. My thanks also to Ann Phelan, Community Water Officer, Local Authority Waters and Communities Office, Kilkenny for the encouragement.

Some other resources you might enjoy:

A beautiful, lyrical account of a boat trip down the Barrow by T.F. O’Sullivan. A favourite book of mine

Author Michael Fewer’s book Rambling Down the Suir, takes a journey down the river by boat, car and on foot, following the river’s course from its source to the sea.

Wonderful piece here on the Suir.