Deep Historical roots of Enniscorthy
Enniscorthy was founded by St.Senan in 510. It is picturesque town situated on the banks of the River Slaney midway in Co.Wexford between the Blackstairs Mountains and the sea. The town is over looked by the old 1798 historic battle site of Vinegar Hill. On the west bank of the river, the Gothic church of Saint Aidan reminds us that Enniscorthy is the Cathedral town of the county-designed by Pugin in 1847, St Aidan's tall spire, fine doorway and exquisite east window are recommended viewing. Dominating the town is the Norman Castle which was completed in 1205 and housed the County Wexford Folk Museum (Closed for renovation until Summer 2010). Just down the road by car there are beaches, forest and river walks, as well as ancient Dolmens and Bronze Age remains. There is an excellent promenade walk by the River Slaney with a children's playground at the entrance to the pedestrianised section of the walk. Enniscorthy and its environs has a well developed crafts industry most particularly pottery, for which it is justifiably renowned and Vinegar Hill pottery shop is located in Weafer Street in the town centre. There is a Farmer's Market held every Saturday morning in the Abbey Square adjacent to the Seamus Rafter Bridge.
1. The Duffry Gate
Many Irish towns have a town wall, Enniscorthy has a gate- The Duffry Gate - a name representing the area called DUBH TIRE in Irish and translated as the 'The Black Country" At Enniscorthy , The Duffry is the periphery of a vast area stretching from the Slaney to the Blackstairs Mountain, which some 15 centuries ago existed a dense forest of oak, and is recounted in legend. During the 1798 rebellion, Duffry gate was the scene of a famous battle of Enniscorthy. The United Irishmen achieved a remarkable victory when they attacked Enniscorthy on May 28 1798. in 1998, this area of Enniscorthy achieved its own piece of modern international sporting history by hosting a stage of the world famous Tour De France cycle race. The Fairgreen Enhancement project was officially opened in late 2009 and incorporates an excellent Town Park and Playground.
2. St. Aidan's Cathedral
One of the country's great cathedrals, St Aidan's is outstanding due to its commanding location, its splendid broach spire and its astonishing neo-gothic style of architecture. designed in 1939 for Bishop Keating and built between 1843-46, St, Aidan's Cathedral has been dramatically refurbished in recent years to the original plans of distinguished architect, Augustus Welby Pugin. Enniscorthy's Cathedral is named after patron saint of the Diocese of Ferns and is the religious centre for all major Roman Catholic ecclesiastical ceremonis.
3.The Market House/ Market Square
The Market House is the administrative building for local government in Enniscorthy. its strategic position at the convergence of five streets makes it the most impressive building in the Market Square. the building was there during the 1798 Rising and like most of Enniscorthy was originally the property of Porthsmouth Estate. The present facade was developed in the latter part of the 19th century. 1798 Memorial Market Square - the bronze statue of Fr. John Murphy and Thomas Sinnott, The Pikeman, was unveiled on May 31, 1908 by the Wexford born Franciscan historian Fr. Patrick Kavanagh. Celebrated Sculptor Oliver Sheppard designed the Pikeman.
4.An Siopa Brog
This business premises at Castle Street was formerly the National Bank established in 1835 by the well-known Irish Political figure, Daniel O'Connell, also known as 'the Liberator'. the original Deed of Settlement is in Custody of the County Musem and it is distinguished by O'Connell's personal signature.
in 1892, the Athenaeum was erected. Many notable people have appeared on the Athenaeum stage. Count John McCormack, the celebrated Irish tenor sang at the Feis in 1905. Dr. Douglas Hyde, then President of the Gealic league, addressed a large audience in 1901. Padraig Pearse spoke in the Athenaeum on many occasions, the last time shortly before his execution. On the stairs of the Athenaeum, two legends met for the first time in June 1927 - Michael Macliammoir and Hilton Edwards met for the first time in June 1927 - Michael MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards, the most succesfull duo in the history of Irish theatre. The Athenaeum was also home to the multi-award winning Enniscorthy Drama Group.The Athenaeum in recent years has fallen into disrepair however a very active Athenaeum Restoration committee are busy fundraising to have some sections of this fine building re-opened during 2010.
6. St Mary's Church
The present St Mary's Church, which serves the Church of Ireland community of the town and district, was built on the site of a former church bearing the same dedication, and was consecrated on March 31, 1846. A feature of the church is the Chapel Royal Organ that came from the Chapel Royal Dublin.
7.Enniscorthy Castle & County Musem
Built by the de prendergast family in the late 13th century Enniscorthy Castle were originally 'an Irish style keep'. its present appearence dates from rebuilding from 1566 when towers were added and a further restoration and rear building enlargement by PJ Roach who purchased it as a wedding present for his son in 1900. The Castle survived the infamous visit of Oliver Cromwell. It now hosts a fantasic musuem including a room dedicated to renowned designer Eileen Gray.
8. Enniscorthy Bridge & The Cotton tree
The old stone bridge over the Slaney Dates from 1630. In 1837 the Bridge was lowered and widened, a task that was jointley carried out by the grand jury of the County- the forerunners of present day local authorities - and The Wallop family owned much of Enniscorthy. The present Cotton Tree, beside the bridge, is a cutting from the original, which was planted in the 17th century it has long been a landmark in Enniscorthy and has borne silent witness to much of its history.
9. Railway Station
The first train puffed into Enniscorthy Station on November 16, 1863. For the first time Enniscorthy was speedily linked with Dublin and the rest of the country. the station building at Enniscorthy is a wonderful example of Edwardian design, with a signal cabin that was rebuilt in 1924 due to civil war vandilism. The town is a popular and convenient rail destination for visitors, and is the terminus for many a steam train excursions each summer.
10.J. Donohoe Ltd.
The Donohoe family have been in business in the early part of the 19th century. James Donohoe known as "The Prince of the Merchants" took over the family business in Templeshannon around 1878 and set up a mineral water plant which in time was the largest employer in Enniscorthy with a diverse range of business interests.
The old church of St. Senan, Teampall Seanain, was founded in 510. St Senanan was originally from Inis Cathaigh better known as Scattery Island. No trace of the 6th century foundations appears to exist. A church dating from the 13th century was built on the same site. In 2010 Enniscorthy will celebrate 1500 years since its foundation, there will be a plaque erected on 8th March, 2010 to celebrate St. Senan's arrival in 510 A.D. The Annual Patron Mass will be offered by Rev.Bishop Denis Brennan, Bishop of Ferns on Saturday 26th June 2010.
12. Vinegar Hill/Croc Fodh Na gCaor
Vinegar Hill is located due to the east of Enniscorthy and rises 391ft(119m) above sea level. The Hill was the principal camp of the united Irish Insurgents during the 1798 Rebellion. following the capture of Enniscorthy in the in the first days in the rebellion, the insurgents set up a camp on the hill. the 17th century ruined windmill was used as a makeshift prison during the rebellion. One of the most decisive battles in Irish history took place in the vicinity of Vinegar Hill on June 21st, 1798. The Crown Forces defeated the United Irish Insurgents in an early morning battle and was a turning point in the rebellion. it is linked with the battle of Vinegar Hill in New South Wales in March 1804 and is remembered in New York with the suburb known as Vinegar Hill, where many exiled united Irishmen and women lived. Fr. Murphy of Boolavogue led the Rebellion and Boolavogue famed in the song of the same name is a village approximately 10 miles from Enniscorthy.
13. Society Of Friends
The Society of Friends was the official name adopted by a Christian religious sect commonly called Quakers, Founded in 1647 by Englishman George Fox. The First Record in Co. Wexford is of a visit to Enniscorthy, New Ross and Wexford in 1659. The Enniscorthy Meeting House at Springvalley was originally leased by the Earl of Portsmouth to Francis Wheeler in 1756. The Main Building of the present day Meeting House displays a carved inscription '1869' representing the date when the property was enlarged and reconstructed.
14. Enniscorthy Fountain
The Fountain at Abbey Square was erected in 1993. This vibrant stainless steel sculpture is by leading artist Conor Fallon and is entitled 'Singing Bird'.
15. Seamus Rafter
Born in Monalee, Ballindaggin, on January 24th 1873. He launched the Gealic League in Enniscorthy and was also a member of the IRB. He was incarcerated in England following the failed 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy. Seamus Rafter died at home in Ballindaggin on September the 12th 1918. Buried in Ballindaggin cemetery, Rafter' memory is perpetuated in Enniscorthy with a memorial in the Abbey Square. The new bridge, opened in 1991, also bears his name.
16. Post Office
A red brick, two story building that first opened for business on May 4 1903.
17. United Presbyterian & Methodist Church
The present church at Mill Park Road was build by Patrick Kerr in 1866 and the following year, the Rev.William Arnold, was Ordained at Enniscorthy as pastor of the little flock. Rev Arnold was furnished with splendid manse and gives his name to Arnold's Cross. Arnold ministered for 48 years until his death. The Methodist church was amalgamated with the presbyterian church and Kerr's church now serves both communities. it is architecturally a fine building with impressive stonework and a small turret to one side.
18. The National 1798 Rebellion Centre
The Centre is open 7 days a week, during Summer, closed weekends during Winter. This award winning centre offers a fascinating insight into the birth of modern democracy in Ireland. it is conveniently located just off the N30 and N11 500 metres from the centre of this thriving market town with ample free parking. The family friendly centre tells the epic and heroic tale of the 1798 Rebellion. A spectacular audiovisual presentation places the story places the story in an international context. An array of artefacts from the '98 period are on display . Lively new exhibtion techniques are used to give visitors a glimpse of our fascinating journey to modern democracy. After your tour relax in our bright resturant. We are one of the finest visitor centres of its type in Europe. The centre is fully accessible for visitors with disability. Coach parking and cafe facilities are available to non patrons. Further information from: The National 1798 Rebellion Centre, Millpark Road Enniscorthy Co. Wexford. Tel: 05392-37596 or Fax: 053-9237198. Email: email@example.com Website - www.1798centre.ie
19.The Maltings (1895)
During the 17th Century Enniscorthy developed an economy largely based on the processing of agricultural produce. as a result there were 29 Malt houses built by 1796. The Maltings or The Malt House first appeared on ordanance maps of the area in 1903. it is clear that The Maltings was a was a purpose built Malt House although the lower walls on the western side may have been a part of an older building. P.J. Roche, a Malster with a business in New Ross is credited with establishing the family concern , Which developed the Maltings as it is today. P.J Roche and Sons leased the site from William Moran in 1870 which was described as part of the lands with a corn store garden and premises at Mary Street and Island Road. The Maltings building which is now the Bailey Cafe bar, has a date stone which reads 'The Maltings ,1895, P J Roche. The Bailey, Barrack Street, Enniscorthy. T: 053 9230353 W: www.thebailey.ie