Some time ago I wrote three pages about the Rockville Navigation, which is linked to Grange on the Carnadoe Waters in Co Roscommon.
I recently revisited the area. I was horrified, first, to find that the bridge — built in June 1765 — has been severely damaged, with large chunks of masonry in the cut beneath and with a crude wooden repair. How many bridges of that age are there in Co Roscommon? How many that are associated with one of the oldest navigations in the country? Please, someone, restore the bridge!
Anyway, the more pleasant part of the day was the four hours that we spend descending, by dinghy and kayak, from the bridge to Grange. The route took us through artificial cuts, small lakes and sections of river, with very clear water and an extraordinary abundance of vegetation. This route would have been easily navigated by large wooden cots or similar boats, and it should be developed today as a canoe-and-small-boat trail. Even with very low water levels, we had no real problems, although someone has to end up with wet feet …. Here is an account of the trip.