Historical sites and attractions mark new Wexford Heritage Trail

Minister for Tourism hopes driving route will attract visitors to explore the county

Pikemen waiting to march during Vinegar Hill Day in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in June 1998 to commemorate the 1798 Rebellion. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Pikemen waiting to march during Vinegar Hill Day in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in June 1998 to commemorate the 1798 Rebellion. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 14:18

Some 32 historical sites and attractions have been mapped on a driving route to mark a heritage trail of Co Wexford.

Launching the trail today, Minister for Tourism Michael Ring said it should be a great success in persuading overseas and domestic visitors to visit a county “rich in history and beauty”.

He said the route should now be marketed on the internet and internationally and tour operators should be persuaded to include it on their itineraries.

Chair of the Wexford Heritage Trail Jacqui Hynes said the trail “spans the entire county and really has something to offer to those hugely interested in history and also to families and children looking for a fun day out”.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming additional new visitors to our county to explore the heritage of Wexford.”

Ms Hynes said she believed the Wexford Heritage Trail to be the largest of its type in Ireland.

“The trail is a diverse offering with surprises waiting around every turn from the mountains to the sea, mainland to islands, the trail will lead locals and visitors alike to castles and battlefields, churches and abbeys, historic towns and villages, great houses and gardens, windmills and forts to Ireland’s National Heritage Park and the National 1798 Rebellion Centre.”

Followers may also explore the world’s oldest lighthouse, Ireland’s biggest open-air museum and its most famous Famine ship, the ancestral homestead of former US president John F Kennedy or discover a landscape rich in biodiversity, from unique coastal habitats to the famous Wexford Slobs – descrbed as a haven for wildlife and one of the most important wild bird reserves in the world.

The thirty-two sites on the trail are the OPW sites of Ferns Castle, Colclough Walled Garden, Tintern Abbey, Ballyhack Castle and Selskar Abbey; the National Parks & Wildlife Service-managed Wexford Wildfowl Reserve;

Wexford County Council sites Enniscorthy Castle, the National 1798 Rebellion Centre, Vinegar Hill Battlefield, Irish National Heritage Park, Duncannon Fort, Browne Clayton Monument and Hook Lighthouse (in association with Commissioners of Irish Lights).

The list also includes Enniscorthy town, Fr. Murphy Centre, Gorey Town, Johnstown Castle (Teagasc) and the Irish Agricultural Museum, Wexford town, Our Lady’s Island, Loftus Hall, Ross Tapestry, the Dunbrody Famine Ship, New Ross Town, Dunbrody Abbey, Oulart Hill, Kilmore Quay and Saltee Islands, Ballymore Historical Features, Wells House, Tacumshane Windmill, Craanford Mill and The Kennedy homestead.

Full details of the trail and a map are available at visitwexford.ie