New Ross Tourist Attractions
New Ross (Ros Mhic Treoin, "Wood of the Son of Treann") lies in the southeast corner of Ireland on the steep east bank of the River Barrow.New Ross is one of the oldest towns in Wexford county, and its narrow winding streets - sometimes stepped lanes suitable only for pedestrians - still preserve something of the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. New Ross is an important inland port, and the broad river is busy with small boats. It is the market center for the fertile surrounding area and popular with tourists. Boat trips can be taken on the rivers Barrow and Nore.
St Mary's Church
In the town of New Ross can be seen St Mary's Church (early 12th C.; National Monument), which was a large parish church of which only the chancel and transepts remain; the nave was pulled down in the 19th C. to make way for a new church. Notable features are the three fine Gothic windows in the choir and a number of medieval tombs.
The New Ross Tholsel (Town Hall), built between 1749 and 1804, is a handsome neo-classical building with a cupola-topped bell tower.
To the south of New Ross there are several places worth visiting.
Kennedy Memorial Forest Park
4mi/6km in a southerly direction from New Ross, in the angle between the R733 and R734, lies the 400acre/164ha John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest Park, opened in 1968, with finance provided by Americans of Irish descent. The murdered president's great-grandfather came from the village of Dunganstown, to the west. 4,500 different plants and shrubs can be found in the park, of which there are 500 varieties of rhododendron and 150 of azalea. There is a good panorama from Slieve Coilte, a hill in the park which can be reached by car. In the Visitor Center as wll as a video show there is a permanent exhibition documenting the flora of the park.
4.5mi/7km south of Kennedy Memorial Forest Park, which lies to the south of New Ross, on the R733 we come to the imposing remains of Dunbrody Abbey (National Monument), a 12th C. Cistercian house. The church, in austere Cistercian style, has a chancel, transepts, nave and crossing tower (15th C). The surviving conventual buildings include the library and chapter house on the east side and the refectory and kitchen on the south side.
Beyond Dunbrody Abbey, at Arthurstown, stands Ballyhack Castle (15th C.; National Monument), a five-story stronghold with vaulted rooms, situated at some distance from the road on the banks of the Barrow. The castle has been restored and is open to the public. From Ballyhack there is a passenger ferry over the broad estuary of the Barrow to Passage East (Waterford county).
Beyond Ballyhack at Arthurstown, where the R733 turns off eastwards, a byroad continues down the coast southwards to the little fishing village of Duncannon, with a good sandy beach and an old fort on a rocky promontory guarding the entrance to the estuary.
On the east side of Hook Head Peninsula is Slade Castle (15th-17th C; National Monument), picturesquely situated beside a small fishing harbor. The 56ft/17m high tower is battlemented, as are the lower parts of the castle. It can be reached by taking the road from Arthurstown and Ballyhack Castle which goes to Hook Head.
The road from Arthurstown goes to Hook Head, at the tip of a long narrow peninsula. The lighthouse on Hook Head rests on a 700-year-old circular keep.
Two mi/3km east of Slade there is a road fork at which the right hand road leads to Fethard-on-Sea, which has good sandy beaches. A short distance away is Baginbun Head, where the first Normans landed in Ireland in 1169.
The road from Arthurstown goes to Hook Head, at the tip of a long narrow peninsula. On the east side of the peninsula is Slade Castle. 2mi/3km east of Slade there is a road fork at which the right hand road leads to Fethard-on-Sea. 4.5mi/7km north of Fethard the R733 crosses the R734. 2.5mi/4km east of the intersection can be seen the ruins of Tintern Abbey (11th and 15th C.; National Monument), a Cistercian house. The tower and chancel of the church were converted into a dwelling house in the 16th C. Now the whole complex has been restored.
Address: Saltmills, Ireland
Opening hours: Jun 15 to Sep 30: 9:30am-6:30pm
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €5.50, Adult €2.00, Senior €1.25, Group discounts €1.25, Child €1.00
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Interpretive sessions sometimes available.
This garden possesses a number of plants that have never been grown in the SE region of Ireland.