Tour Cost: €60 per Adult and €40 for under 16. Cost includes all admissions to historic sites, museums and centres. (Food and beverages excluded)
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For hundreds of years a ferry has plied its way across the estuary of the three sisters from Ballyhack in Wexford to Passage East in Waterford and it is in the lovely fishing Village of Ballyhack that our tour really begins. We will have guided visit of the Tower house built in the fourteen hundreds by the Knights Hosptiallers and one of the most complete examples of its type in the country.
Our next stop is the beautifully restored Georgian Rectory at Kilmokea Country House and Gardens. The elegant house built in 1794 sits in seven acres of gardens. The gardens are divided into the formal walled gardens and an extensive heritage orchard. The guided tour will satisfy both the horticulturalist and the history buff as it includes information on the history of the house and garden as well as the Anglo-Norman homestead, Viking settlement and Monastic site all of which were situated on the grounds of Kilmokea.
The Cistercian Abbey at Dunbrody was built at the behest of Richard de Clare, better known to most as Strongbow. An offshoot of St Marys in Dublin the Abbey was never of great importance but was very successful in its farming and industry. The cruciform gothic chapel added in the thirteenth century is indicative of this prosperity; measured fifty nine metres it was one of the longest in Ireland. The imposing tower was added in the fifteenth century. Today the visitor centre also boasts a yew hedge maze. One of only two full sized hedge mazes in Ireland.
As we leave Dunbrody we move forward in history and start on the migrant trail commemorating the millions of Irish men and women who left their homeland in search of a better life for themselves and their children. In Duganstown we visit the home place of perhaps our most famous emigrant President J F Kennedy. The Homestead is both a history of the Kennedy family and their rise to the top of American society and an insight into life in mid nineteenth century Ireland. It examines and explains the forces that sent people away and describes life for those who stayed. We are guided through the history by the knowledgeable curators and a state of the art interpretative centre.
Our final stop we find moored on the banks of the River Barrow in the heart of the Medieval Norman town of New Ross. The Dunbrody famine ship is a faithful and accurate reproduction of the kind of ships that carried the Irish fleeing famine across the Atlantic to New York, Boston or Montreal. The visitor experience is enriched by the use of very knowledgeable guides, actors and well designed themed exhibitions. It gives a powerful testimony to the reality that created the Irish Diaspora of today.