Graiguenamanagh, or Graig na Manach (meaning valley of the monks) is a small town in Co Kilkenny, along the border of Co Carlow and at the foot of Brandon Hill. It is home to Duiske Abbey, the largest and perhaps the finest of the thirty-four medieval Cistercian abbeys in Ireland.
The River Barrow, historically a significant highway, was developed as a commercial navigation in the mid seventeen hundreds and Graiguenamanagh served as the main base for commercial barges operating on the river until barge traffic ceased in 1959. The barges that at one time lined the quaysides are now replaced by some one hundred pleasure craft.
In the centre of the town, its handsome modern library features a comprehensive Local History Section. It provides an Internet Service to the public and, in addition to its other functions, hosts periodic art exhibitions. The very active Graiguenamanagh Historical Society also sponsors a series of talks and lectures at this venue during the winter season. Adjacent to the library is The Abbey Centre, the home of a Christian Art Gallery and small museum.