Continuing our series on The approaches to Kilkenny City in the 18th century, The Kilkenny Observer newspaper, with the assistance of Cois Céim and The Kilkenny Saturday Walkers group, takes a look at the approach roads to Kilkenny in the 18th Century.
This is the final part of our three part series.
This week , we look at the The New Road, Loughboy and The Castle Road
The New Road (Ormonde Road) from Patrick Street to Rose Hill
The Summer Assizes of 1816, To the right honourable the Earl of Desart and to the Commissioners, a Presentment was made “to lay out form, fence, level, drain and gravel 127 perches of the new line of Mail Coach Road between Dublin and Cork, commencing at John Watters garden in Patrick Street and ending at William Robertson’s field gate at the river Bregagh bye road. The cost being £257-3-6, one twelfth to be raised at each assizes until all is raised.” Previously the Cork road had entered the city through the Walkin Gate, now it swept in from the Rose Hill Hotel in a broad magnificent carriageway demolishing all before it, farms were decimated, New Street was cut in two and part of the Town Wall demolished.
William Kingsmill Deputy Mayor at the time reported he had to put down a riot on the night of July 1st 1817. A mob had assembled and pulled down the premises of Mrs Shee of Patrick Street. The part demolished was obstructing the finishing of the new road and Mrs Shee had refused to give up. The people concerned that this prevented them from employment and were in very deep distress. Kingsmill promised there would not be a recurrence of such an outrage. The new road did not acquire its title immediately, however by 1849 it had been duly christened the Ormond Road from Patrick Street to New Street cross. From that point to the Rose Hill Hotel it was named the New Road.
The next document bears a list of names but unfortunately no date. From the style and character of the handwriting it is believed to be fully 200 years old. It refers to the area known as Loughboy. “By the Mayor of the Cittie of Kilkenny and others his Majesty’s Justice of the peace for the county of the said Cittie. Whereas we are informed that the high waie neare the great poole of water called Loughboy, being the high waie from the said Cittie to Waterford is somtymes ov’flown with the water from the said pool, to the great newsance at somtymes, specialle in Winter tyme of his Majesty’s subjects passing that waie. These are therefore to will and require you to take order for reparation of the same in such sorte as is according to law. And where we are informed that the soyle or muck falling in the same Logh is an occasion that the water thereof doth swell and ov’flowe the said high waie. These are therefore to will and require you to give warning unto the Landlords and possessors of the lands adjoining the Logh or Poole to take order for taking upp the said muck or soile or in their default that you cause the same to be taken awaie by some others of your parishioners” The name Loughboy derives from the Gaelic “Loch Bui” meaning the yellow lough or pond, long since drained. In the great snow falls and heavy rain of 1947 the lough reformed but subsided soon afterwards.
The Castle Road
At the Assizes held on the 15th March 1769, a Presentment was made for making of a new road from the Castle Gate through the Castle Garden.“Whereas so much of the old High Road from the City of Kilkenny to Thomastown in the County of Kilkenny as extends from the Castle Gate to the road leading to the road leading to the Stone Mills now occupied by Henry Scott, miller, is at present much out of repair and whereas the said high Road may be considerably shortened by running the same through the Castle Garden, within the Liberties of this City. And Walter Butler hath accordingly proposed to make a new road from the Town Wall adjoining the old Castle Gate of this City through the said Castle Garden to the Old Lime Kiln on the said Road of the width of forty feet at least and containing in length sixty Perches at his own proper costs and charges. And whereas the said new Road when completed will be much more commodious to the Public. We therefore present that the said Walter Butler have liberty to make the said new Road at his own expense.”
Roques 1752 map of Kilkenny shows that where the present road called the Upper Parade was then part of the Castle Garden. The old paved line of road was found in the 1850s while trenching the lawn to the South of the Castle.
While the origins of the early approaches to Kilkenny City have been lost in the mists of time I hope you have found it interesting to listen to the talks on the first formation and improvements to the approaches to Kilkenny City in the 18th Century, more than 300 hundred years ago.
Sources: The Old Kilkenny Review 1953.