Saturday 2 March 2024

Old Knocksink Dam Co Wicklow


                                             Above Image: The track entrance

                                          Above & Below Image: The forest track

                                         Above Image: First sight of the remains

                                         Above & Below Images The Dam remains

                                     Above Image: Arch below the Knocksink bridge


                      Above Image: A fallen tree in Bog Meadow gives the appearance 

                                             of some huge sylvan creature grazing

I have always found that half of the joy in ruin hunting is finding historical remains no matter how large or small in hidden spots or out of sight in normal everyday places. Knocksink dam falls directly into this category.
The Knocksink bridge (1859) is located on the cusp of Enniskerry where the Glencullen river beneath winds through the extensive Knocksink woods from the Dublin mountains.
Probably no more than 100 metres West of the bridge are the scant but still significant remains of a small dam.
The dam in question was part of a hydro-electric system and apparently was linked in its day to providing electricity to Powerscourt Estate, seat of the Wingfields, the Viscounts of Powerscourt. 

The Enniskerry Electric Supply Co-op supplied local businesses and homes with power until the ESB took over in the mid 1940's. Enniskerry was incorporated into the Shannon electric system around 1942 and it was sometime following that the small dam on the river was deemed unecessary and was dynamited leaving only partial remains on the riverbank.
Though not a remarkable ruin it is well worth your while on nice dry day to take the rough track that leads from the top of the bridge adjacent to the Parish house and then begin to descend through a landscape of leafy ferns and bushes down a slope towards the river. At times it is stoney and uneven underfoot and be wary of a small concrete ridge that lurks under the vegetation. I tripped once or twice on this. Eventually if you track close to the river, which is barely more than a stream at one point you will find the dam remains. Down in the small gorge it is like another world and seems far away from the busier world above. The Knocksink bridge stands high in the distance dividing the woods from the area known as Bog Meadow, which is a wonderful public amenity.

To find the ruin, take the R117 from Kilternan towards Enniskerry. As you near Enniskerry you will pass a small sliproad on the right signposted for Knocksink Woods nature reserve. Drive on across the walled bridge and park at the main entrance to St. Mary's Parish Church. Then walk back to the entry to the old parish house and you will find the track entrance at the roadside to the right of the parish house entry. It has a streetlight pole beside it. Follow the track adjacent to the parish house wall and the begin to descend towards the river,

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