Fethard Motte

The Normans built the ‘motte’ to the rear of this site soon after they arrived in the 12th century. The stone castle was built later, in the 14th century.

The land here was granted to Richard de Londres in the year 1200 on condition that he built a castle to defend his property. The structure which de Londres built here may be the motte, or earthwork castle, located to the rear of this site. The large stone castle was built later, in the 14thor 15thcentury.

The Norman Motte
A motte is a man-made mound of earth on top of which a defensive wooden structure was built. Often there was a flat area, known as a bailey, containing buildings beside the motte. The motte and bailey were surrounded by a fence and bank of earth as well as an open ditch which was often filled with water.

The Stone Castle
The stone castle here at Fethard was built in several phases during the 14th and 15th centuries. The earliest part of the castle is a gatehouse located on the western side of the building. The castle was probably built by the Bishop of Ferns as a summer residence and the crenellated circular tower was a belfry. In the later medieval period several bishops resided at Fethard to avoid the attacks of the native Irish in north Wexford.

In the 17th century Fethard Castle became the property of the Loftus family whose grand residence at Loftus Hall is another site along the Norman Way.