Fethard Town Walls

Fethard is undoubtedly the best example of a medieval walled town in Ireland.

Fethard Town Walls

Fethard Town Walls

Fethard is undoubtedly the best example of a medieval walled town in Ireland. Founded around 1200 by the Norman Lord William de Braose, the Town Walls, Holy Trinity Church, the Augustinian Abbey and Fethard Tholsel are amongst the reminders of Fethard’s long history which survive to this day.

Fethard Town Walls dates from 1292 when King Edward I of England made provision to the burgesses of Fethard for ‘the inclosing of their village and the greater security of Ireland.’ Further murage grants followed in 1375 and 1409. Most of the great sweep of wall visible today is likely to be attributable to the five year murage levy of 1450–1455 granted during the Lord Lieutenancy of Richard, Duke of York prior to his claim on the English throne (Wars of the Roses 1455-1485). Subsequent 12-year maintenance-and-repair grants followed in 1456 to 1468 and 1468 to 1480. Despite the various works, the fortifications were insufficient to prevent the burning of the town by Garret Fitzgerald in the spring of 1468, avenging the judicial murder of Thomas Fitzgerald, Earl of Desmond.

Fethard Town Walls highest point is in the north section where early masonry still stands to the height of 7.8m. Originally there were five gates into the town. Today only the North Gate remains standing. Fethard also has one of Ireland’s most significant urban tower houses in Court Castle and a rare fifteenth century hall house, Edmond’s Castle, which is incorporated into the Town Wall.
The 'magnificent Thosel (Town Hall), dating from the early 1600s' was built as an almshouse for six indigent men c.1600, and came into use as a town hall some time after 1763.
It is the subject of a major restoration project that will provide a tourist gateway to the town with a café, exhibition spaces and unique tourist accommodation.

These and other features can be viewed by walking the 2 km historic town trail. Watch out for the geese and the Sheela-na-Gig at Watergate Street. Fethard has a strong association with horse racing and is home to the world-renowned Coolmore Stud.
It also has numerous pubs and bars with music and craic galore.

More on Fethard

Contact Name: 
Fethard Community Council Office
+353 (0)52 6131000