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Ecclesiastical Sites
in County Wexford.

 

Dunbrody Abbey.
 

(Bruide's fort.)

The Abbey is beautifully situated on the eastern shore of Waterford harbour, the substantial ruins are of a Cistercian house founded in 1178 by Herve de Mountmorency, who was an uncle of Strongbow. Most of the buildings date from the early thirteenth century They consist of a long nave, a choir light by early English lancets, a fifteenth century central tower, a north transept with three chapels along the east wall, and a south transept with one chapel. From the south transept an unusually well preserved set of stairs lead to what was at one time the monk's dormitory. From the north transept a spiral staircase leads to the transept wall head. Of the claustral remains there are traces of the sacristy, chapter house and dormitory in the east wing, in the south the frater is almost full height.

After Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, the abbey was bought by Sir Osborne Etchingham, who converted the south transept into a private residence.

Ballyhack
Co Wexford
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St Aidan's Cathedral.
 

The cathedral which was begun in 1843 and consecrated in 1860, was designed by A W N Pugin, it is a neo-Gothic church in the decorated style. It is an isled cruciform building with high ceilings, a deep, square ended choir with chapels on each side, shallow transepts and Victorian stain glass in the east and west windows.

Enniscorthy
Co Wexford
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Ferns C of I Church and Abbey.
 

The church is a early English cathedral built between 1223 and 1243. The two lancets in the east gable wall and on the side wall near the east end are original. About seventy meters are the ruins of a detached building. It is thought that it may have been retrochoir (Behind the high alter.) If this is the case it is rare in Ireland.

East of the church is the original abbey, it was founded when Dermot MacMurrough King of Leinster brought Augustinian cannons here in 1158. The tower still stand it is square at the bottom and round at the top, at the west end of the abbey church are the remains of the north wall of the nave, of a sacristy north of the choir, and the remains of the foundations of the cloister to the south.

The church is closed except for services.

Ferns
Co Wexford
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St Iberius C of I Church.
 

This church was built in 1760, the interior is designed in neoclassical style, with galleries on three sides, the pews are arranged along the long axis, facing a alter with twin Corinthian pillars and lit by a bay window.

Tourist Information
Crescent Quay
Wexford
Co Wexford
Tel +353 (0)53 23111
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Tintern Abbey.
 

(From Tintern in Wales.)

It is said William Marshal endured a particularly difficult crossing of the Irish sea, and pledged if spared a watery grave would found an Abbey. This he did in 1200 at Fethard and called it Tintern, it was from Tintern abbey in Wales the original monks came from to staff the Abbey.

Little of the original is visible due to fifteenth century reconstruction, the abbey was dissolved in 1538 and granted to Sir Anthony Colclough an Elizabethan soldier who converted it into a dwelling house, his descendants lived in the area until recently. The Colclough's unlike many other Anglo Irish landowners appear to have had an exceptionally good relationships with their neighbours. Several of their number are said to have lost their lives for the Irish cause.

Local tradition tells of a phantom torchlight procession seen approaching the Gothic entrance door, accompanied by the sounds of Latin chants.

Another Irish abbey owes its existence to a pledge made whilst in passage across the Irish sea. Greyabbey in County Down was founded in 1193 by Affreca, daughter of Godred King of the Isle of Mann and wife of John de Courcy.

Fethard
Co Wexford
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Oh save, and I will build to thy glory alone
An altar of gold in an abbey of stone:
An abbey and altar, a church and a shrine,
This heart's grateful offering to mercy divine.

('Tintern de Voto' by John Bower)