The Wexford Festival Opera Tours are organised by Nicholas Furlong on behalf of the Wexford Historical Society. They are led by expert guides to sites of intense interest 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 car park at 10.30am sharp. All tours are scheduled to return to Wexford at 1.00pm.
Thursday October, 22. The President of the 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 October, 23. Great Island, strategic in medieval times, with Kilmokea House, and the smallest High Cross in Ireland. With author and local historian Bernard Browne.
Saturday, October 24. 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, October 26. 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, October 27. Peter Miller, Chairman of the Irish Agricultural Museum at Johnstown Castle , tours the award winning Museum of the year 2014, the Castle environs and other exciting developments.
Wednesday, October 28. 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, October 29th. Today’s tour will bring us 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. The local Catholic rebel leader John Kelly of Killanne was well known to the owners. Our hosts will be the present owners Jeremy and Rosie Hill. Jarlath Glynn, our guide, is a librarian and local historian. He is currently Chairman of Wexford Historical Society.
Friday October, 30. The amazing story of the parish church in Rathangan, the great Devereux fortress of Ballymagir, and the direct lineage of the Devereux family will led us to the village of Tomhaggard of today. With author and historian Nicholas Furlong.
Saturday October, 31. The coaching Inns and taverns of character in the historic port of Wexford. With historian and editor of the Wexford Historical Society Journal, Celestine Murphy. A walking tour.