Welcome To Enniscorthy


Enniscorthy is fifteen miles north of Wexford on the N11 road and the Slaney River. The second largest town in the county, its history dates back to the mid fifth century, one of the longest permanently occupied places in Ireland.
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Information Enniscorthy Ireland

The small but lively town of Enniscorthy is fifteen miles north of Wexford on the N11 road and the Slaney River. The second largest town in the county, its history dates back to the mid fifth century, one of the longest permanently occupied places in Ireland. Its name comes from the Irish meaning the Island of Corthaidh. It is unknown whether Corthaidh is a version of the Irish word for rocks – often transliterated as Carrick in English – or is a person’s name. Enniscorthy Castle is a Norman stronghold built around 1205. Until 1951 it was a private residence. The Elizabethan poet Edmund Spencer lived in the castle for some time. Famed for writing “The Faerie Queene”, it is believed that Elizabeth gave him the castle as a reward for that very poem. A former Christian Brothers monastery, the National 1798 Visitor Centre is the home to an exhibition that details the uprising of that year led by the United Irishmen including Theobald Wolfe Tone. The rebels themselves lost a battle of significance on Vinegar Hill near Enniscorthy on the east bank of the River Slaney on June 21 1798 after a month long insurrection. The gap through which many of the insurrectionists escaped is known as Needham’s Gap after the British general who mistakenly caused the gap in his troops’ lines. However, five hundred deaths resulted nonetheless, many of the dead the wives and children of fleeing fighters. At the National Visitor Centre commemorating the insurrection, contemporaneous source material is placed alongside multimedia effects such as laser technology to provide an interesting exhibit. At Vinegar Hill itself there is a round tower and a memorial plaque. The Irish name for the hill is Cnoc Fíodh na gCaor which translates into “hill of the berry-tree”. The hill was in fact the main headquarters of the rebels.

Attractions Enniscorthy Ireland

Ballyhack Castle - Ballyhack

Ballyhack Castle is situated on a steep slope overlooking Waterford estuary. The Castle, a large tower house, is thought to have been built in 1450 by the Knights Hospitallers of Saint John. The Knights were one of the two great military orders founded at the beginning of the twelfth century at the time of the crusades.

Ballyhack Castle - Ballyhack

Ballyhack Castle is located on a steep slope in a commanding position overlooking Waterford estuary. The castle, a large tower house, is thought to have been built c. 1450 by the Knights Hospitallers of St. John, one of the two great military orders founded at the beginning of the 12th century at the time of the Crusades

Berkeley Forest House Museum - New Ross

Located at New Ross, Berkeley Forest Museum houses 18th and 19th Century toys, costumes, toy carriages, embroidered textiles and rare dolls - many of them from Irish families. The property is that of the family of George Berkeley, in whose honour the University of California is named. The fine collection is housed in the main rooms. A small pretty garden is included in the visit.

Duncannon Fort - Duncannon

Duncannon Fort is star shaped and built at a strategically important promontory in Waterford Harbour. It was erected in 1588 in the expectation of an attack by the Spanish Armada. There had previously been a Celtic fort and a Norman castle on the site. The fort is noted for its dry moat, exterior walls and the legend of the croppy boy.

Hook Lighthouse - Churchtown

Located opposite Churchtown, Hook Lighthouse was built in the thirteenth century as a navigation aid by William Marshal - Earl of Pembroke, as part of the development of his Lordship of Leinster. The massive structure has three stone vaulted chambers with a spiral stairway ascending through the thickness of the wall. According to tradition, a warning beacon was established at Hook Head in the sixth century by a Welsh monk named Dubhan, whose church still exists at nearby Churchtown. His successors were appointed custodians of Marshal's Tower and continued to keep the light for several centuries. Visitors to the oldest operational lighthouse in both Ireland and Great Britain will experience a journey through time from the story of the sixth century beacon up to present day light keeping.