New Ross was the site of the first Norman landings on Irish shores in 1169. New Ross was an important Norman stronghold, the town was without defences until the late thirteenth century when the ‘frequent inroads and predatory excursions of the neighbouring Chieftains’ and a feud between the Fitzmaurices and the De Burghs in 1264 convinced the inhabitants of the necessity to construct a defensive wall. A map of the walls can be seen here
Over 840 years later, the town retains its medieval feel. Today, New Ross is a thriving town set in rich rolling countryside on the banks of the river Barrow. New Ross is home to the Dunbrody Famine Ship, a full size replica of the 19th century ship, which was built in 1845, used to transport emigrants to North America. New Ross is also the ancestral birthplace of John F. Kennedy, five generations of the Kennedy clan are celebrated at the Kennedy homestead and a lifesize statue of John F. Kennedy stands on the quay of New Ross.
New Ross Features a 2.4 km historic walking tour, which takes about 90 minutes to complete. The routes starts at The Dunbrody and includes JFK Memorial, The Tholsel, The Priory, Augustinian Church, St. Mary’s Church, The Maiden Gate, Three Bullet Gate, part of The Town Walls of Ross built in 1265, The Hospital of the Holy Trinity, Ros Tapestry, New Ross Theatre, St. Michael & St. Mary’s Church.
A map of the route can be viewed here.
The Dunbrody Famine Ship, is a highly successful tourist attraction, telling the story of the forced emigration of the 19th Century.
The Ros Tapestry, A Classic Exhibition Centre featuring the Ros Tapestry, a series of tapestries depicting a dramatic presentation of the Norman experience in Ireland.
John F. Kennedy Arboretum & Viewing Point, The Arboretum is dedicated to the memory of American President John F. Kennedy. It contains one of Europe’s finest and largest collections of trees and shrubs from every continent.