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Wexford area - John Barry statue
Wexford area - church building
Wexford area - historic locations
Wexford area - Nickey Rackyard statue

Churchtown House is not open for guests in 2019.



Churchtown House

Churchtown House is located in the village of Tagoat in the historic County of Wexford in the “sunny south east” of Ireland, within walking distance of the resort town of Rosslare strand with its 3km of safe sandy beaches. The main towns in the area are Wexford town, Enniscorthy, New Ross and Waterford, but the trip through history starts right here in Tagoat where, two hundred metres from Churchtown house, John and Mary Barry, parents of Commodore John Barry (The father of the US Navy) are buried. Five hundred metres in the other direction is Tagoat Church designed by Alexander Pugin, famous for his design of the interior of The Palace of Westminster.

John Herron, the son of John Joseph Herron a rebel who was hanged on Wexford Bridge during the 1798 rebellion, and who later became one of Napoleon's generals (There is a painting of he and Napoleon together in the Louvre) had family links with Churchtown House. It is not known if he lived here but it is certainly likely that he stayed here on occasions


Wexford towns history is long and varied, from the legend of Garman Garbh, through the settlement by Vikings around 800 AD, and in the 1640’s the fleet of privateers who raided English shipping and provoked the sacking of Wexford by Oliver Cromwell’s army in 1649. Wexford was held by the United Irish Rebels throughout the 1798 rebellion and was the scene of the notorious massacre of loyalists by the Wexford Pike men and the subsequent execution of the rebel leaders by the ultimately victorious English.


Dating from AD 465, Enniscorthy is one of the longest continuously occupied sites in Ireland, it’s Castle was built in 1205 and it was constantly involved in historical events. In the 1798 rebellion, Vinegar Hill was the largest rebel stronghold who’s members were successful at holding off the English for 30 days before being defeated by overwhelming force on 21st June. In the more recent rebellion of 1916 once again the locals were called to action to take the town and railway line to stop English reinforcements reaching Dublin. They were successful and held the town long after the Dublin rebels surrendered. When told of the surrender they didn’t believe it and travelled to Dublin to hear it directly from Padraig Pearse.

New Ross

New Ross was first inhabited in the 4th Century AD, it has been involved in battle in the Confederate wars but its real claim to fame came in the 19th Century with the Colonisation of the Americas. Local merchants sailed their own ships back and forth from New Ross to America and Canada transporting thousands of émigrés to their new lives. A replica of one such ship “The Dunbrody” is now a permanent visitor attraction in New Ross. The most famous travellers were Patrick Kennedy and Bridget Murphy, grandparents of John F Kennedy, President of the United States. At nearby Dunganstown is the JFK family homestead and the Kennedy memorial park and Arboretum where the journey of the Kennedy family from near starvation to becoming one of the most powerful and best known in the world is brought to life.


Waterford is the largest town in the neighbouring County of Waterford and the fifth largest in the whole of Ireland. It is also Ireland's oldest city, first populated by the Vikings in AD 853. In the 15th Century Waterford was attacked twice by pretenders to the English throne but held out both times, as a result King Henry VII gave it its motto “Urbs intactia manet Waterfordia” (Waterford remains the untaken City). After the reformation Waterford remained a catholic city and participated in the independent Catholic government “The Confederation of Kilkenny” from 1642 – 1649 but this was ended in 1650 when Cromwell took the city back under English rule after a major siege. The 18th an 19th Centuries saw great industries such as shipbuilding and glassmaking bring great prosperity to Waterford, industries which have sadly now declined. Waterford was once more in turmoil during the Irish Civil War When in July 1922 it was the scene of bitter fighting between The Irish Free State and Republican troops.