Ferns Village
Heritage Trail 

Grade:         Easy

Distance:    2.37km (1.5 miles)

Waymarking: none

Trailhead:   St Edan’s Cathedral

Sat Nav: 52.589737, -6.493890

Parking: Street parking available in the village

Trail Description

Renowned through the ages as the Ancient Capital of Leinster, this is a trail well worth taking. Experience sites of national and  international importance–a centre of early Christian and medieval significance. Visit heritage sites linked to some of the greatest changes in Irish history. Linger at a holy well founded by St. Aidan who came to Ferns in 598AD. Nearby you can visit 12th century St. Mary’s Abbey and the grave of the king who brought the Normans to Ireland in 1169. Spend some time in St. Edan’s Cathedral and view the high crosses in its grounds. Take a tour of Ferns Castle, a 13th century Norman castle, and in the adjacent Visitors’ Centre you can see the wonderful Ferns Tapestry exhibition. Nearby is a monument to Fr. John Murphy, a 1798 Rebellion leader and further along the trail is a 1916 commemorative plaque linking Ferns to these significant events in Wexford’s history.


Don't Miss...

  • 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 is interred the late Fr. Ned Redmond who, as a student in France, was credited with saving the young Napoleon Bonaparte from drowning, thus altering the course of European history.

Useful Trail Information

Ascent: negligible

Walking time: 40 mins

Format: Loop

Surface: Mixed surfaces, mostly street footpath

Gates/Stiles: Yes – at graveyard

Start/Finish: St Edan’s Cathedral

Equipment Recommended: No special equipment required


Other Useful Information

Mobile Coverage: Generally Good

Picnic Area: 

Public Toilets: Ferns Castle Visitor Centre

Facilities: All standard amaneities available in the village.

Dogs: Dogs must be kept under control at all times. You must clean up after your dog if it fouls in a public place.

Getting Here

Ferns is located on the N11 between Enniscorthy and Gorey.