Ferns Castle

County Wexford

Ferns Castle was built around 1220, but parliamentarians destroyed the castle and executed most of the local population during Cromwell's rampage through Ireland in 1649. The ruins are thought to stand on the site of Dermot MacMurrough's old fortress. A couple of walls and part of the moat survive incongruously in the middle of town; you can climb to the top of the one complete tower. The visitors centre holds regular exhibitions relating to the history of the town.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Wexford attractions

1. St Edan's Cathedral

0.29 MILES

Built in early Gothic style in 1817, Ferns' 'modern' cathedral is thought to be the smallest in Europe. Its graveyard contains a high cross, said to mark…

2. Vinegar Hill

6.55 MILES

Scene of one of the most important battles of Ireland's 1798 rebellion against British rule, this hill just outside Enniscorthy is topped with a memorial…

3. St Aidan's Cathedral

6.79 MILES

Restored to its original glory (check out the star-spangled roof), this dazzling Roman Catholic cathedral (1846) was designed by Augustus Pugin, the…

4. Enniscorthy Castle


This stout, four-towered keep was originally built by the Normans; like much else in these parts, it was surrendered to Cromwell in 1649. During the 1798…

5. Athenaeum


Built as a theatre and town hall in 1892, the Athenaeum became the headquarters for Enniscorthy's volunteers during the 1916 Easter Rising. A small museum…

6. National 1798 Rebellion Centre

7.13 MILES

This exhibition does a fine job of explaining the background to one of Ireland's pivotal historical events. It covers the French and American revolutions,…

7. Huntington Castle

9.33 MILES

The core of Huntington Castle is a spooky, dusty old tower house built in 1625 by Sir Laurence Esmonde, now surrounded by Georgian terraces and…

8. Courtown Seal Rescue

12.1 MILES

Tucked behind Courtown harbour, 35km northeast of Enniscorthy off the M11, this volunteer-run centre rescues orphaned, lost and injured seals and…