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 part 2 of a three part series.
In week 2, we look at the Old Freshford road, The Old Dublin Road and Greenridge
Old Freshford Road
In 1718 the following Presentment was made. “ Whereas the great Roade on the hill near Thornback, within the Parish of St Kenny ‘s in the County of this City, is by reason of the narrowness thereof , very dangerous for Coaches, Carrs, and Carts passing that way. We therefore Present that the inhabitants of the Parish of St. Kenny doe before the next Assizes with the assistance of their six days labour widen and enlarge the said Road in the Rock of the said Hill four foot and sink the same in the height thereof three foot at the least more than now it is and bring the gravell and dirt so dug away unto the great road on the foot of the same hill. The Summer assizes of 1829, the Commissioners were to form, fence ,level and make 712 perches of a new intended line of road between Kilkenny and Freshford beginning at the small bridge near Mr. Atkinson’s and ending at the county bounds near Daniel Kerwicks . This proposed new road would lead around by Troyswood and under the hill of Barrnaglissane. The sum of £625 be raised at 5% at each Assizes until the principal sum and interest be paid off. This being the first instalment of £31/5 shillings.
The Old Dublin Road
At the same Presentment relates to the Dublin road and the dangers of Windgap. “Whereas the great road leading from this Citty to Dublin, commonly called Wind Gapp, is very narrow, steep and dangerous, for passengers and travellers who go on the said road. We therefore present that the sum of £5 be raised in and throughout the said Citty and County thereof and paid unto Alderman Haydocke, William Percival, James Oldfield, and William Hogan, for and towards the levelling and enlarging the said road, who are fitt persons to see the same done accordingly”
In 1757 it appears that this road was still in a dangerous state. For “We present the sum of seventeen pounds and five shillings to be raised as aforesaid on the four parishes of the City and paid George Carpenter Mayor, and John Blount as overseers for building a wall of lime and stone at Wind Gapp to prevent carriages and passengers falling over the precipice. The same to be sixteen perches sixteen feet long and five feet high above the ground on the upper side and two foot thick, the said wall to be flattened at the top and covered with large stones. In 1818 the Commissioners were instructed to lay out, form, fence, level and make with foot paths thereon 70 perches of a new Mail Coach road from Kilkenny to Carlow, between the Pound in Upper John Street and the top of Wind Gap Hill. £212 – 1 shilling- 1 penny be raised, one twelfth be raised at this Assizes and an equal sum at each succeeding Assizes until all is raised.
The Assizes of 1718 the following presentment was made “Whereas the bridge on the Causeway in the Great High Road on or near the lands of Greenridge within the Liberties of the Citty is four foot at the least too narrow for Coaches Carrs and Carts to pass safely thereon and that the same Causeway is so very much broken and out of repair that the same are very dangerous for passengers and travellers who go on the same Road. We therefore Present that the sum of three pounds sterling be forthwith raised in and throughout this Citty and County thereof and paid unto Mr. Nicholas Knaresborough of Purcell’s Inch and Richard Lamb of Garricreene, Mason, for and towards the sufficient making and new building addition of an arched addition of four foot in the cleer in the breadth to one end of the said bridge with a wall on each end thereof three foot high, all of lime and stone and for the sufficient and well gravelling of the said Causeway on both sides of the said Bridge.
Next week Part three