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Ferns County Wexford.


Place of alders

Ferns is a quiet little village eleven miles from Goret on the Enniscorthy road. It owes it origin to Saint Moague, sometimes known as Aiden (d 626) who established a monastery there, Aiden's relics are in the National Museum Dublin.

Dermot MacMurrough King of Leinster founded an abbey in the town, it was burnt down in 1158 but rebuilt in 1160. MacMurrough who had his residence nearby died in the abbey in 1171. After his death the town and the kingship of Leinster passes to his son in law Strongbow, and thence to Strongbow's heirs, the MacMurrough's recovered the property in the 14th century.

The castle at the NW end of the town is thought to occupy the site of MacMurrough's castle, it was excavated between 1972-5, the castle is thought to have been built around 1226 by some member of Strongbow's family. For a long period of time it was the home of a Bishop, the building was burnt down in 1577