Extent of the Waterways - River
The N80 is the main road joining the towns of Bunclody and Enniscorthy. However a series of minor roads on the other side of the river affords a look at the villages of Clohamon and Ballycarney. Like the weir in Tullow, the lucky visitor standing on the bridge might catch a glimpse of an Atlantic salmon jumping the weir at Clohamon. Many of these majestic fish will travel right up to the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains to spawn. The Slaney Drive crosses over the N11, the main Wexford-Dublin road, and continues into the town of Enniscorthy. Before this however, there is a turnoff for Boolavogue where the Father Murphy Centre can be found.
Ferns Castle was built in the 13th century, forming a square with large corner towers, one housing
a circular chapel with carved ornament, original fireplaces and a vaulted basement.
Only half of the castle remains.
Ferns is also home to a 12th century Augustinian Priory St. Mary's, the remains of a 13th century cathedral (part of the current Church of Ireland Church) and some High Crosses , which stand in the cathedral grounds
Newtownbarry House, built 1863-1869, is one of the last country houses designed by Charles Lanyon (1813-1889) who was assisted by his pupil W.H. Lynn (1829-1915) and his son John (d1900). The House was built on the site of John Maxwell Barry's house 'Woodfield', an 18th century house. The estates were bought by a property developer from Manchester, Samuel Ashton in 1852. In 1861 it was bought by Robert Westley Hall-dare of Theydon Bois, Essex, who was living in Temple House, Sligo at the time. He sold Temple House and moved to Co. Wexford.
A Victorian house, it is Classical and Italianate in style and feel. The entrance hall is overlooked by a large Bison head. A painting of Mrs. Close-Brooks (grandmother of the present family) hangs in the inner hall and reception area. The portrait was painted in 1909. The room to the right is known as the Saloon which is now used as a dining room.
The Library holds an assorted collection of books collected by family members. It also houses the Ros Tapestry; a community project which when finished will be the largest Tapestry in Europe. the Drawing Room is panelled in oak bought from Ferns Cathedral and there are many curved mantelpieces to be seen throughout the house. A carved wooden staircase leads to the upper floor, which is Classical with Tuscan colonnades upholding the glazed barrel vault roof. The stairs have two Sphinxes who usually sit opposite each other. The Sphinxes were bought for the house in the 1860's in Paris.
Visitors are welcome to explore the magnificent gardens (including a sunken garden) and the house with its finely carved staircase and top-lit art gallery. Please phone for opening times (053 9177340) or visit the website www.newtownbarryhouse.com