Fethard Historic Town Walk

For a small, quiet village fording the Clashawley River in South Tipperary, Fethard boasts a huge number of medieval ruins.

Fethard Historic Town Walk

For a small, quiet village fording the Clashawley River in South Tipperary, Fethard boasts a huge number of medieval ruins. A good portion of its original 14th-century town walls remain intact and it's 2km heritage trail takes about an hour to complete.
Fethard's name derives from "Fiodh Ard" (High Wood), which may refer to the forests that once covered the area, but its settlement history most likely began with Anglo-Normans who arrived in 1208 and built the town's first curtain of stone walls. An Augustinian Friary was added in 1305, followed by the antiquities still so beautifully visible today.

Along the walls, the North Gate is the last remaining of five original gates (remarkably, you can still see marks left by the wickerwork used in its construction).
Inside the fortifications, highlights include the Holy Trinity Church, one of Ireland's finest medieval parish churches. It is almost 800 years old, though the pointed arches and strapping west tower were added some centuries later.

Fethard's Town Hall dates from the early 1600's and is one of the largest civic buildings from that period in Ireland. The town is also home to two fortified townhouses - Edmond's Castle and Court Castle - dating from the 15th century. Both Castles are three-storey buildings with upper-tier residences that intriguingly, cannot be accessed from the ground floor.

Another unexpected find in Fethard is its little boutique collection of Sheela-na-gigs. These medieval carvings, located at the abbey at nearby Kiltinan Castle and at a section of the old fortified wall at Watergate Street are all explicit portrayals of naked women, possibly created to evoke fertility or ward off evil.
A fourth Sheela-na-gig was stolen from the town in 1990.

Fethard, known for its links with thoroughbred horse-racing, is also the town where Pete McCarthy enjoyed one of his most surreal pub conversations in McCarthy's Bar.

Location: 
Address: 
Clonmel Tourist Information Office
Old St. Mary's Church
Clonmel
Tipperary
Phone: 
+353 (52) 6122960
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