Two thirds of Wexford’s medieval town wall is still standing. About 1km is visible today. One of the medieval gates, Selskar Gate, is beautifully restored. The others were removed in the 19th century. There are three standing towers, one of which is right beside the new library building.
Just beyond the Opera House is one of the most important Viking Streets in Wexford, Kayser Lane. The word Kayser means ‘quayside’ in Norwegian.
The Franciscans arrived in Wexford in 1240. It is said the Black Death never reached Wexford because of the intervention of God thanks to an appeal from the saintly friar, Father John.
All Wexford Streets have two names (an old English one and a patriotic Irish one).
Wexford has a Bullring, so called because of the “sport” of bull baiting started there in 1621.
The Bullring is also the scene of the massacre of about 200 people by Cromwellian soldiers in 1649.
The twin churches were built within a decade of the Potato famine in Ireland. There is a convent of Perpetual Adoration beside one of them. Prayer has been offered there for the people of Wexford without interruption for the last 150 years.
Wexford was besieged and captured twice, by the Anglo-Normans in 1169 and Cromwell in 1649.
Writers from the town include John Banville, Eoin Colfer, and Billy Roche.
Wexford has one of the most impressive opera houses of any town in Europe. Concealed within the streetscape it is the location of the annual Wexford Opera Festival.
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