Arklow/Wicklow/Waterford

Ferns Travel Blog

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Church in Ferns

So we got out of Dublin on Monday to start seeing the country. I'm not a good city person, so was excited to get moving out of the craziness that is Dublin on a weekday!

We ended up on this little single lane road toward Arklow. The hedgerows were so tall it was like driving with brick walls on each side! The only problem we encountered was while we headed south, huge farm machinery was heading north...on the same single lane road! Thankfully, the drivers were good and going around us. We would kind of duck into a driveway as best we could and they would wing by us, damn near taking the paint off the side of our car. I don't think I've ever had so much fun driving!

We stayed in Arklow at the Valentia B&B and it was great! We walked down towards a pub where the locals hung out and 1/2 way there were caught in a rain storm that had us soaked completely in 1/2 a block.

Grave of King of Leinster, Dermot Mac Morrough and his son, 1171 ad
Luckily, we both lived in the Pacific Northwest where rain is the norm. By the time we got into Nick Cavanaughs Pub we were soaked to the bone, but greeted by several older gentlemen who proptly bought us a pint to help warm us up. We ended up staying until late, late at night after they locked us in to finish socializing! The were the most wonderful, gracious people. My friend made a point to get their names, etc. I cannot tell you how much fun it was, on my first international trip, to find so many wonderful people willing to share a pint and lots of stories.

The next morning we headed towards Wicklow to visit the Wicklow Gaols. Right out of Arklow we ran into the town the gentlemen had described the previous evening: Ferns. Just as you come around the corner you are faced with an ancient church, convent and graveyard.

Grave marker
We got out and spent several hours just checking out the ancient graves. It was very beautiful and parts are still well maintained.

It was pretty creapy in some areas. Over the main entryway I had noticed a door coming out of the side of the upper floor, with a beam over it. I found out later, this is where they would hang people. The history of the Gaol is horrible. Irish of all ages were locked in here for long periods of time for something as simple as stealing a loaf of bread to feed their family. When release, they would be shipped to the Americas, never to be seen in Ireland again. The gaol is dark, cold and the stories shared were sad. However, it was amazing to see and an eye opening experience to hear the stories.

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Church in Ferns
Church in Ferns
Grave of King of Leinster, Dermot …
Grave of King of Leinster, Dermot…
Grave marker
Grave marker
Riuns in Ferns
Riuns in Ferns
Ferns
photo by: paganmom