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Spring Walk

On Sunday 6th April about 30 members and friends assembled in Castlebridge, where Ethna Scallan gave them a brief history of the village and the waterways connection and was founded around its two natural resources, barley and water. The group set of walking in the direction off Eden Vale. First stop Castlebridge house with its famous Pierce Conservatory, said by some experts to be superior to Turnerís works, and the good news that it is to be restored to its former glory. 

Castlebridge 1

We then continued on to Magís Bridge where the early transport cots serviced the village before the Castlebridge canal was dug. We then entered the wooded area along the river sow known as Eden Vale. The wood was at its best with all the spring growth and buds beginning to appear. On reaching the top of the waterfall Ethna explained that there was seven mills on this stretch of the river. 

Castlebridge 1a
The walkers the climbed down beside the waterfall with help from ropes set up by Philip Hatton which was much appreciated by all. Castlebridge 2
 
 
The experts examined the extraction point and machinery for Wexfordís water supply

 
while the rest admired the spectacular falls. 

 

We then continued along the banks of the river, where Ethna told us about Eden vale house a popular picnicking area for locals now completely gone.

The fine house with its spectacular view of the falls and gardens on the bank of the river was built of clay which meant that when it was abandoned it was allowed to decay back into the earth, leaving no unsightly rubble or concrete. 

Castlebridge 22

Many environmentally minded architects are recommending for modern housing. We then headed back to the village to the old mill where we met proprietor Liam Keating who showed us the old Mill 

Castlebridge 23

with its water wheel and told how he has restored and developed the mill, and converted it into apartments, shops and craft studio, retaining what he could of the original structure and using what could be salvaged in innovative ways, like converting old cast iron pillar supports into light stands.
Liam is to be congratulated for his work at restoring and developing the old mill as a viable business, yet retaining as much as possible of the original structure which is a great asset to the village.

Castlebridge 25

 

Paddy Hatton Slaney Branch Web master- hattonp@gofree.indigo.ie 16th June, 2003
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