An early morning start saw 20 members of the Fethard Historical Society take the road to Wexford last Saturday, September 28.
First stop, New Ross where we spent almost an hour with our lovely guide Lisa who took us through the 12 completed Ros Tapestry panels depicting the history of the Normans in Wexford, from their first landing at Bannow Beach in 1169.
Following a quick browse at the local Country Market, we were back on the bus and heading for the Kennedy Homestead in Dunganstown. The new Visitor’s Centre gives a detailed overview of the Kennedy/ Fitzgerald families, their Irish roots and their life in America. The exhibition includes many personal mementoes of the late JFK including the Rosary beads he carried with him on the fateful day of his assassination in Dallas.
The highlight for many people was the visit to Hook Head Lighthouse, the oldest operational lighthouse in the world, where another excellent guided tour brought to life the amazing story of the lighthouse from its foundation by William Marshall in the early 13th century right down to the present day. Our guide told us that on really clear days it is possible to see Slievenamon on the western horizon.
At this point we were joined by local guide Eileen Cloney-Kehoe who took us on a whistle-stop tour of the Hook peninsula. We visited the Knight’s Templar Church at Templetown and walked along Beginbun Head where the second wave of Normans, under Raymond le Gros, arrived in 1170. We skirted Bannow Bay and made a brief stop at the lovely Tintern Abbey. Some of us even had enough stamina to visit the 15th century castle in Fethard-on-Sea.
Our trip more than fulfilled our expectations and we are already planning a return visit.