Blackweir Bridge

Title

Blackweir Bridge

Description

The heritage area of Blackweir Bridge with its rich history and scenic views over Poulnasherry Bay is located on the WAW route only a short distance south of the N67 Kilrush to Kilkee Road.

Creator

ActiveMe Heritage Services

Publisher

Clare County Council
The Heritage Council
Fáilte Ireland

Date

October 2014

Contributor

Criostóir MacCarthaigh, Trea Heapes

Rights

Full rights. See signed release forms

Identifier

WAW001_LH_ 0015

GPS Location

52.667619, -9.588992

Full Interpretation Text

The turf trade accounted for some of the boat traffic up and down the Shannon Estuary. There is a large area of bog near Moyasta, (at Tullaher, Moanmore and Sragh) close to Blackweir Bridge and there were approximately 20 turf boats, bringing turf from Poulnasherry Bay around 1900. These turf boats were built locally. The turf boats were double-enders, built with short crosswire timbers for the bottom instead of the conventional long boards. The sticky muddy shallow water around Blackweir Bridge meant that small boats locally called cots were employed to bring the turf from the bridge out to the larger turf boats. The remains of one of these cots was excavated in recent years. It measured in excess of 30ft in length, with a maximum beam of over 14ft and a depth of 4ft. The last man to work on a turf boat in the area was William Lynch in the 1940s. Lorries then began to transport the turf along newly improved roads, making the practice of using turf boats redundant.

 

From the bridge, the sheltered and isolated bay at Poulnasherry can be observed. Poulnasherry Bay is stony and unusually rich in wildlife. Poulnasherry Bay has designated shellfish waters under the European Communities (Quality of Shellfish Waters) Regulations. Poulnasherry affords a great view over the slob-lands, which attract large flocks of overwintering wild fowl and waders in particular Brent Geese, Wigeon, and Greenshank. Shelduck are common all year and breed in the summer. Aquaculture and fishing is popular at either side of the bay. Ideal fishing is bottom fishing where you can catch bass and flounder using crab and lugworm as bait. The estuary was historically an important food producing area and is recorded as 'Oyster Hole' on the Pelham Grand Jury map of 1787 or Poll Na N`íosraí (Oyster hollow) in Gaelic, later anglicised to Poulnasherry.

Site Recommendations and Observations

As part of the initial Heritage Trail, it is not recommended that visitors be encouraged to stop at these ‘Heritage Areas’ as there are a number of existing issues and safety concerns raised during the project site assessment regarding primarily parking and access.  Visitors should only be provided with information as they drive, walk or cycle past the site without stopping. Drive by interpretation may include the use of a website, app, map, audio trail or podcast.

It is recommended that an adequate pull in bay, parking and signage are firstly implemented before any other measures such as site access and physical site interpretation are considered. All longer term improvement measures must take into account the protected status of the bridge.

The following three statements apply to all site recommendations:

  • ‘All proposals must comply with all planning, local authority and other statutory requirements.’
  • ‘All proposals for development within, adjacent to or with the potential to affect a Natura 2000 site will be subject to an Appropriate Assessment Screening. To ensure that a Habitat Directive Assessment is carried out to assess the likely impacts on Natura 2000 sites in order to comply with Article 6(3) of the Habitat Directive and in accordance with the requirements of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011.’
  • ‘All projects must be undertaken in accordance with the Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points Remedial Works Guidelines, including the Ecological Method Statement.’

Sources of Information

1) Interview with Criostóir MacCarthaigh
2) Discussions with Trea Heapes, Jackie Whelan and Cillian Murphy
3) Online Research
4) Review of OSi Discovery and Historical Maps

County

Clare

Nearest Town

Kilkee

Cycle Parking

No

Category

Historical

Sub-Category

[no text]

Category of Interest

Cultural

Heritage Designation

SPA
Shellfish Waters

Geolocation

Citation

ActiveMe Heritage Services, “Blackweir Bridge,” Wild Atlantic Way Heritage Trails, accessed February 23, 2020, https://wildatlanticway.omeka.net/items/show/4.