Wexford Festival Opera Tours, in association with the National Opera House, are organised by Nicholas Furlong on behalf of the Wexford Historical Society. They are led by expert guides to interesting and intriguing sites and are open to everyone. There is no charge but we ask all drivers to help by offering seats to visitors. The tours leave the Talbot Hotel car park at 10.30 a.m. sharp. All tours are scheduled to return to Wexford at 1 p.m. For more information contact the Chairman of Wexford Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wexfordhistoricalsociety.com
Thursday 22 October The President of the Wexford Historical Society, Brian Matthews, takes the tour to the very ancient parish of Kilmore where the unique custom of placing funeral crosses at sites of historical significance still persists. The tour will also visit Grange Churchyard and the early Christian site at Kilcowan.
Friday 23 October Great Island, of strategic importance in medieval times, with Kilmokea House, and the smallest High Cross in Ireland. With author and local historian, Bernard Browne.
Saturday 24 October The Society of Friends – the Quakers’ benign presence in South Wexford. Today’s tour will visit Forest, Taghmon, Rathanuisce, Killurin and Bregorteen, of the Holmes and Penn families, with Gregory Walsh, Editor of the Bannow Historical Journal.
Monday 26 October Former history teacher John McCormack will take the tour to Ardcavan’s very early promontory site and adjacent area. Also, the wonder of Wexford’s reclaimed land ten feet below high water level, the mystery of Bergerin Island and the National Bird Sanctuary.
Tuesday 27 October Peter Miller, Chairman of the Irish Agricultural Museum at Johnstown Castle, leads the tour around the award-winning Museum of the year 2014, the Castle environs and other exciting developments.
Wednesday 28 October A walking tour along the beach and shoreline in the fishing village of Kilmore Quay. Our tour examines a 600 million-year-old rocky outcrop unique in Ireland, a raised beach and St Patrick’s Bridge, an unusual landform allegedly constructed by Ireland’s patron saint. With naturalist Jim Hurley.
Thursday 29 October Jarlath Glynn, librarian, local historian and the current Chairman of Wexford Historical Society, leads the tour to the eastern slope of the Blackstairs Mountains where Monksgrange House is situated. It has been the home of the Richards family since the mid-eighteenth century. Associations include the local Catholic rebel leader John Kelly of Killanne. Our hosts will be the present owners, Jeremy and Rosie Hill.
Friday 30 October The amazing story of the parish church in Rathangan, the great Devereux fortress of Ballymagir, and the direct lineage of the Devereux family will lead us to the village of Tomhaggard. With author and historian Nicholas Furlong.
Saturday 31 October The coaching Inns and characterful taverns in the historic port of Wexford. With historian and editor of the Wexford Historical Society Journal, Celestine Murphy. A walking tour.
Dr George Hadden Memorial lecture
Thursday 29 October at 8 p.m. in St Michael’s Centre, Green Street, Wexford
Social conditions in Wexford before the 1916 Rising presented by Catriona Crowe. Catriona Crowe is Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland and Manager of the Irish Census Online Project. Chairperson of the SAOL Project rehabilitation initiative, of the Inner City Renewal Group and of the Irish Theatre Institute, Catriona is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy.