Norman Castle/Museum

The original castle at Enniscorthy was probably built by the de Prendergasts sometime around the end of the 12th century and the first quarter of the 13th century. Philip de Prendergast married Maud de Quincy a grand-daughter of Strongbow (Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, Lord of Leinster, Justiciar of Ireland. ) in c.1198 and they later took up residency at the castle. The castle changed hands several times before the McMurroughs took possession up to the mid 15th century. Sir Henry Wallop rebuilt the castle in it's present form sometime around the latter part of the 16th century. It is located in the centre of town on a large rocky outcrop. It is a rectangular building with a four storey keep and three drum towers. It is believed the design may be a smaller version of the castle at Ferns. In 1962 the castle was converted into the County Museum. I was a little disappointed with my visit as most of the interior is quite modern, but the best feature was the possible 16th century Graffito in the Dungeon area and the views from the roof are really splendid.

The following is taken from the information board at the castle. "Although there is no specific proof as to when this image was created or by whom, the dundeon graffito is generally ascribed to the period of Sir Henry Wallop's restoration of the Castle shortly after 1585. The image, pictured below right, depicts a young man brandishing a sword. On closer inspection he appears to be a 16th century halberdier. A halberdier was someone who wielded a halberd - a two-handed weapon that first came into use in the 14th and 15th centuries. The image to the left of the picture appears to be the head of a halberd. Although the shaft is missing, along with the right hand of the young man, we can assume he should be holding the shaft of the halberd while the butt of the shaft rested on the ground"

16th century rebuild.

Dungeon graffito

The first floor recreated to the way it was when the last residents, the Roche family, lived in it 1903-1951.

From the south

Fireplace on the ground floor

Situated: Located in the centre of the Enniscorthy town on Castle Street.


Discovery Map 69:S 9728 3982. Last visit April 2014.

Longitude: 6° 34' 2" W

Latitude: 52° 30' 5" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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