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Trip Planner Europe  /  Ireland  /  Province of Leinster  /  County Wexford  /  Enniscorthy  /  Ferns


Castles · History Museums · Landmarks
Ferns is a historic town in north County Wexford, Ireland. It is 16 km (10 mi) from Enniscorthy, where the Gorey to Enniscorthy N11 road joins the R745 regional road. The remains of Ferns Castle are in the centre of the town.HistoryFerns is believed to have been established in the 6th century, when a monastery was founded in 598 dedicated to St Mogue of Clonmore (St.Aidan) who was a Bishop of Ferns. The town became the capital of the Kingdom of Leinster, and also the Capital of Ireland when the kings of that southern part of the province established their seat of power there. It was a very large city then but shrunk in the fire that destroyed most of it. The city stretched all the way down and further than the River Bann (tributary of the River Slaney), if it was not burnt it would've been one of Ireland's biggest cities today. King Dermot MacMurrough founded St. Mary's Abbey as a house of Augustinian canons c. 1158 and was buried there in 1171.Ferns Castle, an Anglo-Norman fortress, was built in the middle of the 13th century by William, Earl Marshall. Today about half of the castle still stands. The town also contains the 13th-century St Edan's Cathedral (Church of Ireland) This was a big aisled cathedral with a long chancel. The present east wall of the cathedral is the original east wall; the cathedral ran further to the west, towards the entrance to the cemetery. It has been suggested that the ruined building to the east, which has a row of fine Gothic windows, might have been built to house the effigy of Bishop John St John, now in the porch of the church. The Tower and the Chapter House were added on in the 19th century. The cemetery has several high crosses and parts of crosses.
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