Ferns Village Heritage Trail
Trail Name Ferns Historic Trail
Walking time 40 minutes
OSI Discovery Map Series 69
Grid ReferenceT 020 497
Sat Nav52.58991, -6.49349
Directions Ferns is located on the N11 between Enniscorthy and Gorey
A walk through Ferns is a walk through ancient history. Known as the Ancient Capital of Leinster and Gateway to Norman Wexford, Ferns’ significant medieval heritage makes it unique. Ferns is exceptional in that it has evidence of four distinct periods in Irish history. Archaeological digs have revealed habitation from the Bronze, Iron, early Christian and Norman eras. Stroll through an area rich in history, visit the grave of a King, a 12th century Augustinian Abbey, St. Edan’s Cathedral, a holy well, a small nave and chancel church and high crosses. In the Cathedral Graveyard you can find the tombstone of Fr. Murphy who played a central role in the 1798 Rebellion.
The renowned Ferns Castle, a Norman Castle built by William Marshall, one of the greatest knights in medieval history, married Isobel, granddaughter of Diarmuid MacMurrough. MacMurrough left Ferns to seek assistance from the Norman King Henry 11 to help him regain power. He returned in 1169 bringing Strongbow (father of Isobel) and the Normans, thus changing the course of Irish history. Ferns Castle is open from May to September – free guided tours are available from the enthusiastic OPW guides – Monday to Sunday from 10a.m. to 5pm.
Nearby a monument to the 1798 Rebellion is further evidence of Ferns place in Irish history which is reflected by the range of historical features in and around the village.
Guided tours of village heritage sites by arrangement , contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- A guided tour of Ferns Castle with evocative tales of medieval knights, fights and romance. Ferns Castle guides are renowned for their entertaining and informative guided tours – each tour is tailored to suit the audience, each guide developing their own unique tour. Taking a tour more than once is not unusual as each guide has their own unique take on Ferns rich and varied history.
- Diarmuid MacMurrough founded St. Mary’s Abbey ‘for the health of my soul and my ancestors and successors’. Its foundation charter included an entitlement to a ‘portion of all beer brewed in Ferns’. MacMurrough took sanctuary in the Abbey whilst he awaited the arrival of his Anglo Norman allies.
- In the Cathedral graveyard , the late Fr. Ned Redmond is interred who, as a student in France, was credited with saving the young Napoleon Bonaparte from drowning, thus altering the course of European history.
For further details, log on to www.fernsvillage.ie #fernsvillageDownload Ferns Trail Map