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When
Why
Watergate Town Wall and Gate
 

County

Tipperary

Coordinates

N 52° 27' 55.38"   W 007° 41' 36.72"

Nearest town

Fethard

Grid Ref.

S 20826 34926

Map No.

67

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

64

Date of visit

Wednesday 21 June 2017

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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What remains of Watergate today is a gap in the town walls with a road passing between the two sections of walls. Seen from the south.
High on the wall on the right-hand side of the photo the sheela-na-gig is visible.


Fethard is one of the many walled towns in Ireland. The town received at least four murage grants, the first one in 1292 when King Edward I of England made provision to the burgesses of Fethard for "the inclosing of their village and the greater security of Ireland". Another grant was received in 1375, then in 1409. Most of what we see today is probably the heritage of the grant received in the period 1450–1455 under the Lord Lieutenancy of Richard, Duke of York.
The efforts to make the town impregnable, though, failed, and in 1468 Garret FitzGerald attacked and burnt the town to avenge the murder of Thomas FitzJames FitzGerald, 7th Earl of Desmond.
Prior to this fact, between 1456 to 1468, Fethard received a maintenance-and-repair grant, and another one was received following the burning, with restoration works between 1468 to 1480.

Originally there were five gates in the town. Watergate is one of them and is at the south of the town, near Court castle and Edmund's castle.
Actually nothing of the gate remains today, just two side walls that were part of the long wall of the town. The arch of the gate has long disappeared.
The gate is aligned to the south (190°) and on one of its walls is a sheela-na-gig.


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