Wexford Town is located in the south east corner of Ireland where the beautiful River Slaney flows into the Irish Sea. The town dates back to the Vikings who formed the town in c.AD 800.Through the years, Wexford has witnessed revolution, strife and great achievement socially, culturally and economically. Once a successful seaport, the dredging of the changing sand banks in the estuary became commercially unviable to maintain and dredging ceased in the late 1960s, closing the harbour to sea-going ships. The port is now being utilised by mussel dredgers and pleasure craft.
Both the town and estuary are rich in resources which include its people, artifacts, flora, fauna and marine life. For many years, the estuary, an area of huge mud flats and colourful changing sand banks provided a habitat for wildlife, and rich resource of Mari culture industry and an export trade. The estuary is also a fantastic area for sailing, fishing and rowing regattas. There has also been a tradition of fowl hunting in the estuary where large numbers of Whitefront geese, Greenland geese, plover and duck gather through the winter months.
Prominent among the town’s resources are its churches of mixed denominations with their fine architectural features. Notable churches within the town include The Friary, St. Iberius church, the Presbyterian Church. the ‘Twin churches’ at Bride Street and Rowe Street with their distinctive spires, and impressive Saint Peter’s College, with a chapel designed by Augustus Welby Pugin. A former Quaker meeting hall is now a band room in High Street. The Adoration Convent, with its magnificent examples of wood work, was added onto Bride Street Church in 1875 and is connected to the church by a cloister.
St John of God Convent has a beautiful chapel and there are fine examples of woodwork and tiles throughout the building. The large walled garden is home to the order’s graveyard, peaceful grounds and vegetable gardens with produce used to complement the convent’s food supply.
The original Clonard Church, was built in 1970. As the congregation grew, an expansion of the church took place in 1998 and is of modern construction. It features an elaborate congregation and altar area, a fine tapestry by Anne Heffernan and modern stained glass windows by the artist Gillian Deeny.
Another church, Selskar Abbey, now a roofless ruin, was ransacked and its priests killed by the troops of Oliver Cromwell in 1649. It is said King Henry II did penance for the murder of his friend Thomas á Becket here in 1170.