Ireland’s Ancient East Two Day Tour

day 1

On the 1st of May 1169 at the request of the King of Leinster, Dermot McMurrough, the Anglo Normans invaded Ireland. The buildings left behind show they were here to stay and they left a huge presence on the landscape of Ireland. This tour shows some of the important structures and towns from the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Rock of Dunamase is our first stop, it is the ruins of an Anglo Norman 12th and early 13th century defensive fortress. It was part of the dowry given to the invading Anglo Norman Lord, Strongbow, on his marriage to Aoife, daughter of Dermot McMurrough, the King of Leinster. We overlook the fabulous Irish countryside and can see numerous counties from the top. Legends and folklore surround this fortification.

Continuing on to Kilkenny, we visit Kilkenny Castle, built in late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Part of the original castle still remains near the rose garden and the West Tower. This was originally called the Stronbow Tower. Stronbow and Aoife’s daughter and her husband William Marshall are responsible for building the first stone castle here.
Moving on to Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland. Here we take in the “Viking Triangle” museums, the Medieval Museum, Reginald’s Tower, and the Bishop’s Palace. On the battlefield here in Waterford, it is said is where the wedding of Aoife and Strongbow took place.

day 2

The town of New Ross has played a significant part in Irish history. William Marshall and Isabel founded the port of New Ross and as a result began trade with countries such as France, Italy and Spain.

The Ros Tapestry is currently on loan to the OPW and it can be seen in Kilkenny Castle. It is fifteen large tapestries depicting the Norman history and linking many of the Norman sites in Ireland’s Ancient East. While in New Ross we can also visit The Dunbrody Famine Ship, an authentic reproduction of a Famine emigration ship. It tells the harrowing story of the people who fled one of the countries biggest tragedies.

Not far from New Ross is the John F Kennedy Memorial Park and can be substituted here until The Ros Tapestry is back in 2023. This is a tribute to the 35th president of The United States whose great-grandfather came from a town not far from New Ross.

The next stop is Tintern Abbey, a Cistercian abbey founded circa, 1200 by William Marshall. Legend has it that while at sea William’s ship encountered a storm and he made a vow, if he made land he would build an Abbey. William was patron to Tintern Abbey in Wales and this became known as Tintern major and our Abbey in New Ross, Tintern de Voto.

Hook Lighthouse is a must see and the last stop on our Ireland’s Ancient East Tour. The oldest operational lighthouse in the world, Hook Lighthouse was purpose built by William Marshall in the early 13th century. A guided tour will bring the guest up the 115 steps to the top of this medieval Lighthouse.
Price €1200 based on a family of up to 5 people, include all admissions, does not include meals or accommodation. However, we can recommend accommodation with our partners.