PHOTOGRAPHED WHEN I VISITED KILKENNY IN AUGUST 2018
Back in 2018 when I first saw this I had no idea that it was once a pedestrian bridge across the river Nore. Today [9 January 2023] I came across the following old press release:
People enjoying the River Nore Linear Park at Talbot’s Inch may have noticed that remnants of the old Talbot’s Inch Suspension Bridge have been exposed whilst Kilkenny County Council has undertaken maintenance works along this popular amenity.
The Talbot’s Inch Suspension Bridge was built by Lady Desart in 1906 to enable mill workers to cross the River Nore, from their residences in Talbot’s Inch to the mills on the opposite side of the River. The Bridge stood until it was destroyed by the Great Flood in 1947. The recent maintenance works have revealed the remnants of the concrete ramp leading upto the Bridge, the steel column supports for the bridge and the suspension cables from which the bridge deck was hung.
Kilkenny County Council recently appointed Canice Architects, a new architectural consultancy firm located on The Parade, to develop interpretation proposals for this significant heritage point of interest. The interpretation will include a new defined landscape area around the old Bridge, together with an interpretation panel summarising a brief history of the bridge and an etching of the old bridge itself. Additionally the water level for the 1947 flood will be marked on the interpretation panel
Mayor Cleere stated that he ‘was delighted to see that Kilkenny County Council was following through on its motto to preserve heritage. I’m also delighted to see that three local firms, Canice Architects, CDS Metalwork and Gus Mabelson Ceramics have been engaged to support Kilkenny County Council with this very worthwhile project. Incrementally, small, local projects such as this collectively make a huge contribution to local quality of life.’
Commenting on the proposals Simon Walton noted that ‘ When we walk along the River Nore Linear Park there is such an abundance of history and heritage all around us. I feel it is very important that we communicate and interpret that history and heritage. In this instance, taking account of Lady Desart’s contribution to this City, it is indeed appropriate.’
Ellen Odette Cuffe, Countess of Desart (née Bischoffsheim; 1 September 1857 – 29 June 1933) was a London-born Jewish woman who was best known as an Irish politician, company director, Gaelicist (President of the Gaelic League for a time), and philanthropist in Ireland. She commissioned the village of Talbot’s Inch to be built by the architect William Alphonsus Scott. along with several other projects she and Capt. Cuffe developed together. These included Kilkenny Library, Aut Even Hospital, the Woollen Mills, Kilkenny Woodworkers, Kilkenny Theatre, the Tobacco Growers Association, Desart Hall, and Talbots Inch Suspension Bridge.
1947 was the year of the ‘big snow’. Snow began in January and it snowed heavily right through until early March. The cause of the great flood was that the thaw from the big snow came very rapidly in March. The resulting floods caused extensive damage along the River Nore and nearby.
Kilkenny incurred much flooding in the mid 1900s and the local population relied on the skills of engineer Harry Shine, who used a series of gauges upstream to accurately predict flooding and gave people enough time to evacuate before the flood arrived. In recent years a new flood relief scheme has prevented the flooding problems that Kilkenny has had for centuries.