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Touring Medieval Ireland-
Fethard, County Tipperary

Fethard in County Tipperary is one of medieval Ireland's best preserved Norman towns. Some ninety percent of its’ town wall are intact, and three gates remain. The town is not a big tourist destination so you are guaranteed a quiet time.

Medieval bridge at Fethard, County Tipperary, Ireland.

Medieval bridge at Fethard.

Directions

Fethard is located 16 km from Cashel, and 16 km from Clonmel. From Clonmel follow the R689 which is signposted for Fethard. From Cashel follow the 692.

For those without their own wheels, the Thurles to Clonmel private Shamrock Bus Company stops at Fethard a few times a day Mondays to Saturdays.

Medieval town wall and tower house castle at Fethard, County Tipperary, Ireland.

Medieval Ireland At Fethard

  • Fethard has ninety percent of its’ original town walls left. This makes it the highest proportion of town wall left in any walled town in Ireland. A large part of the wall is extremely well reconstructed to give a good feel for just how impressive the town would have been during the time of medieval Ireland. 
  • There are also three gates. The North Gate is near complete, and there are remnants of two more gates.
  • You will also find the Holy Trinity Church, one of the countries’ best preserved medieval churches, and some 15th century medieval town houses  one of which has been reconstructed, and a medieval stone bridge.
  • There is an impressive large size Sheela Na Gig embedded in a section of the town wall near Watergate House, and there are two more Sheelas, one at Kiltinian Castle, and one at the abbey. Sheela na gigs are medieval relief sculptures of naked women usually exposing their prominent genitals.they have been interpreted as fertility symbols, but personally we believe the symbolism is more about the ongoing cycle of life and death.
  • We recommend following the heritage trail around the town. The walk takes you through the village streets and then back along the river past all these sights in just under an hour if you walk at a leisurely pace.
  • Fethard features one of the countries’ oldest unchanged pubs, Mc Carthys, located on the main street, which is worth a visit.
  • And the best part- it's all for free!
The 15th century Watergate House at Fethard, County Tipperary, Ireland.

The 15th century Watergate House next door to Edmond's Castle.

Read More About Fethard

Fethard- A Medieval Market Town

Fethard History

More Of Medieval Ireland Nearby

The Rock Of Cashel (16 km from Fethard)

Cahir Castle (29 km from Fethard)

Find Out About Medieval Castles

Learn how to build a medieval castle, how to attack and defend one, enjoy the medieval castle lifestyle (Phew!) and learn castle vocabulary.

Our Opinion

A walk around Fethard is a treat. Fethard is a well kept secret that is worth an afternoon’s visit on a fine day.

Our Special Tips

No 1:

Drop into McCarthy’s Pub for a cuppa before you head on. McCarthy’s is an original pub from the olden days which is also a restaurant, and an undertakers.  No conflict there for the ancient mindset!

Fethard, County Tipperary, Ireland- McCarthy's Pub, restaurant and undertakers all under one roof

No 2:

If you meet any townspeople on your walk, do talk to them. We found them to be very approachable and friendly.

No 3:

Ask at a tourist office in the area (Cashel, Clonmel, Cahir) about dates for guided tours of Fethard. These are delivered by locals many of whom still bear the old Fethard family names and are directly descended from the medieval townsfolk. If you can join a guided tour, it will enhance your experience.

No 4:

The other half of your day could be a visit to any number of attractions in the area. You could visit the town of Clonmel (14 km), the Rock of Cashel (16 km), or Knockgraffon Motte and Bailey, an original Norman site, or you could follow the trail of the Butler family venturing to Cahir to visit the stunning castle or Swiss cottage.


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Many thanks, Colm and Susanna

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