Enniscorthy Castle

Getting There and Admission

Enniscorthy Castle is located at the heart of Enniscorthy town on the main Rosslare to Dublin road and Enniscorthy to New Ross road. There is street parking throughout Enniscorthy and costs about €1 an hour to park. For more information on getting to Enniscorthy Castle click HERE!

Admission to the castle is €6.00 for adults, €5 for Seniors & Students and a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) is €12. If you’re like me and love a good bargain, Enniscorthy castle and The National 1798 Rebellion Centre have a joint save ticket where you can visit both locations at a great price!  Adults are €10.00, Seniors & Students are €8.00 and a Family (2 Adults & up to 3 Children) ticket is €25! For more information click HERE!

The History

This castle is a beautiful example of a medieval castle, it has four circular corner towers surrounding a four-storey rectangular keep.

The castle was first built in the 1190’s by the Norman Knight Phillip De Prendergast and his wife, Maud who was the grand-daughter of the infamous Strongbow who invaded Ireland in 1169AD.  

The De Prendergast family held the castle until the 1370’s when Art MacMurrough Kavanagh attacked Enniscorthy Castle in an attempt to reclaim his ancestral lands. MacMurrough Kavanagh was successful in taking the castle and his family held it until 1536 when the castle and its lands were surrendered to the Saxon Lord Leonard Grey.

In 1569 the Earl of Kildare attacked the castle where it was partially burned! By 1581 Queen Elizabeth I handed the castle over to Edmund Spenser who never even stepped foot in the castle!!

The castle was occupied by Cromwellian forces 1649.

During the 1798 Rebelllion the castle was used as a prison by the United Irishmen and then by the British forces once they retook Enniscorthy town.

In 1903 the castle became the private residence of the Roche family. They lived in the castle with their 6 children until they left the castle in 1951.

The Tour

The tour of Enniscorthy castle is self-guided. The staff of the castle will give you a map of the castle and send you on your way. In the reception area make sure you venture down into the dungeon! Which still features some graffiti from the 1580’s of an Elizabethan man holding a halberd!

 The first exhibition is a homage to the medieval castle itself and the industries that have grown in the town of Enniscorthy since the 1600’s.

The first floor shows a glimpse into the life of the last family who lived in the castle up until the 1950’s.

The second floor features an exhibition dedicated to Eileen Gray, who was born just south of Enniscorthy in Brownswood House. Eileen Gray spent most her life in France and became a well-known architect and designer in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Her work consisted of a lot of lacquer work, and she took some inspiration from the ‘Michelin Man’ and created an armchair with this in mind. The second floor also features an exhibition based off the popular film Brooklyn that featured Irish actress Saoirse Ronan. This exhibit recreates 1950’s Wexford!  

Finally you can visit the roof of the castle which has the most beautiful views of Enniscorthy Town and the Backstairs mountains in the distance. Make sure you look closely at the round towers of the castle, one of them still has the bullet holes from the 1916 Rising! Enniscorthy is also really well known for the 1798 Rebellion and in the distance Vinegar Hill is visible where an extremely famous battle took place! Make sure to follow for my upcoming for my blog post on the 1978 Rebellion in Enniscorthy

The castle features some great aspects of its history and the history of Enniscorthy town but it was a little disappointing that there wasn’t more information about the castle in its prime during the Middle Ages!

Should you, your friends or family decided to take the trip out to Visit Enniscorthy Castle you definitely won’t be disappointed. Make sure to share your pictures on our social media pages @theheritageroadtrip and I hope you enjoyed this post!

Published by theheritageroadtrip

Hey there, my name is Deanna. A 25-year-old lover of anything from the past. This blog is designed to be a guide for all things travel, heritage, and everything in between. Where I share my tips and tricks for visiting Ireland's Heritage sites. Make sure to follow along and don't forget to tag me @theheritageroadtrip in your photos from your travels!

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