Enniscorthy stands on the banks of the River Slaney. There are many
mills and granaries overlooking the river here, and also several potteries.
Carley's Bridge has been producing pots for over 300
years, it was founded in 1654. There are many historic pubs here
too. In 1798 there was a battle on the nearby Vinegar
Hill, between the Wexford Pikemen who made their last stand here,
and some 20,000 British troops. At the Antique Tavern you can see some
of the actual pikes used in the battle.
This was once a crossing point into County Waterford with fortifications to protect it. There is still a ferry service here to Passage East.
This castle was built about 1450 by the Knights Templar. It now houses a museum.
In 1169 the Normans made their first landing here.
There is a star-shaped fort here, built in 1588 because of anticipated attacks by the Spanish Armada. It is now a resort town with a lovely sandy beach.
This Cistercian church was built in the 12th century. Sadly it has now fallen into ruins.
Hook Head is famous for its fossils. It is also a site that attracts many seabirds and even seals. There is also what is probably the oldest lighthouse in Europe, dating from 1172 it is perched above the coast on the red sandstone.
Slade is a pretty village which lies 2 km (1.5 miles) east of Hook Head. It has a pretty harbour which is dominated by Slade Castle which was built in the 15th century.
William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke was caught in a storm off the coast here. He made a vow to found the Abbey if he survived. The Cistercian Abbey was started in the 13th century. Part of it has been restored, mostly the west end.
Irish National Heritage Park
This open air museum has replicas of many types of home, burial places and places of worship from Ireland's history. It is based near Ferrycarrig, north of Wexford City itself. You can see a viking boatyard, as well as many celtic reconstructions.
John F Kennedy Park and Arboretum
John F Kennedy's ancestral home is in Dunganstown, and this park was founded nearby in 1968. There are a huge variety of trees, in excess of 4,500 and many paths for walks or horse riding. There are lovely views of the surrounding countryside.
This wonderful Gothic Revival mansion is situated some 6km (4
miles)southwest of Wexford. It has belonged to the State since 1945
and now houses an agricultural research centre. It is not open to the
public, but the Irish Agricultural Museum is. These
are housed in the castle's farm buildings and show the crafts of
wheelwrights and other farm trades.
Kilmore Quay is a small fishing village. Boats from here regularly take visitors out to the Saltee Islands (see below) to see the birds and seals there. There is a lovely sandy beach, and pretty thatched cottages. In the harbour is a moored lightship which houses the Maritime Museum with many
New Ross is a port based on the banks of the River Barrow. It is also
one of the oldest towns in the county because of its position. Pleasure
cruises still take visitors up the Barrow and Nore Rivers, especially in
Rosslare is Wexford's main harbour when that port declined. The main ferry terminals to France and Wales are about 8km (5 miles) south of the town. Rosslare boasts a sandy beach and some of the best weather in Ireland making it popular with holiday makers. The beach is some 9.5 km, (6 miles) long and has dunes, there is a golf course, good shops and pubs.
Great and Little Saltee Islands lie off the coast of Wexford and are a haven for seabirds. Together they form Ireland's largest bird sanctuary. They are privately owned but visitors are welcome and boats regularly take trips to the islands from Kilmore Quay. There is a bird monitoring and research programme which keep an eye on the birds and grey seals that visit the islands. Great Saltee is famous for its colonies of cormorants, but also has more than 1,000 pairs of guillemots, as well as gannets, puffins, Manx shearwaters and many others.
Wexford was once a Norse name "Waesfjord", which means "estuary of the mud
flats". It was a port for centuries with boats sailing to
Bristol, Tenby and Liverpool, but got silted up in the Victorian
era which nearly ended its usefulness as a sea port. Now there is only a
fleet of mussel dredgers. Wexford still retains a few viking features.
the streets are laid out in the traditional Viking fishbone pattern,
and Keyser's Lane is a tiny tunnel like alley that in viking times led
to the Norse waterfront.
Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
Just east of Wexford town is the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. It covers 100 ha (250 acres) of reclaimed land. One third of the worlds entire population of Greenland white-fronted geese over winter here each year.It also attracts many other geese, waders, ducks, swans etc and also birds of prey attracted by the other birds.
Based at Tagoat 6 km (4 miles ) south of Rosslare this farmhouse has displays on traditional crafts such as butter-making, glass blowing, bread-making, and thatching.
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