Early River Tour

Our boat trips last approximately 90 minutes, departing from Villierstown Quay and heading north towards Cappaquin or south towards Youghal. Along the way you’ll learn about the unique human stories that have flowed with the river over many centuries as well as experiencing the stunning landscape and ecology the river has to offer.

Molana Abbey

One of the many fascinating historical sites on the River Blackwater, Molana Abbey was an important site of learning and pilgrimage dating back to the 6th century. A fantastic blog post by Louise Nugent of Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland on the Abbey can be found here: https://pilgrimagemedievalireland.com/2013/08/23/molana-abbey-co-waterford/


Strancally Castle, Old and New.

The original Strancally Castle, located on the western bank of the river between Ballinaclash and Coolbagh piers, was built by Raymond le Gros, a cousin of Norman Invader Strongbow, in the 12th century. By the 16th century it was occupied by Spaniards who were said to have lured local landowners to a banquet in the castle and then dropped them through a secret trapdoor into a flooded cave. Eventually the Spanish were routed & the castle was destroyed.

New Strancally Castle, is located a few miles downstream from the towns of #Lismore and #Cappoquin. The current building was designed and built around 1830 by James & George Pain for John Kiely MP for Clonmel & High Sheriff of Co. Waterford. Not to be outdone, John Kiely’s brother Arthur Kiely-Ussher set about building his own castle in Lismore, only to run out of money and leave behind The Ballysaggartmore Towers as a monument to his folly. New Strancally was built as a dwelling house and has no serious defensive structures. On the estate are the ruins of a previous Norman castle. In 1856, it was an estate of 5000 acres and was acquired by George Whitelocke Lloyd of a wealthy Anglo-Irish manufacturing family.

In 2007 the castle was renovated and given a contemporary extension, you can see some images of the stunning architecture here  ➡️ https://goo.gl/Vfvugm

Images include those taken by photographer Robert French (principle photographer of the Lawrence Collection, a collection of 40,000 glass plate negatives taken by from 1870-1914). Check out the collection at National Library of Ireland  https://goo.gl/ZLEubu

Dromana House