Holy Trinity Medieval Settlement




N 52° 27' 56.52"   W 007° 41' 40.62"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

S 20751 34961

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Friday 8 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

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As soon as we past the gate that gives access to this precinct, we saw the ancient chancel of the early church and the new church.

We were lucky!
We got access to the wonderful and amazing medieval precinct that stands behind Edmond's Castle and Court Castle, in the very heart of ancient Fethard.
We had always seen this place from outside, behind the walls next to Watergate, and always wondered how to see what looked so marvellous and unreachable.

This time we were able to get inside this part medieval Fethard, and it was almost like stepping back in time!
This medieval space is surrounded by Edmund's Castle and Court Castle to the southeast, two medieval houses and two almhouses. The south wall is beautifully crenellated and an excellent 15th century corner tower to the southwest.
A church, partly in ruins, stands in the middle of this space. It was originally dedicated to St. John the Baptist, but its name had been recently changed to Holy Trinity. It dates from the first decade of the 13th century.
The belfry and the west wall had been added at the end of the 15th century.

William de Braose made a gift in perpetuity to the Hospital of St. John the Baptist at Newgate, Dublin of all tithes and other income coming from the parish of Fethard. The priests of this Hospital belonged to the order of the Crutched Friars, of Augustinian inspiration, to give medical assistance to pilgrims and crusaders. This order would provide priests for the newly built church in Fethard as well, until the Archbishop of Cashel took responsibility for the parish.

The church was dissolved under king Henry VIII in February 1539, but the priests continued to say Mass until 1577.

The east section of the original church is in ruins. It has a large Gothic window with hints of a nice tracery, and a south transept. The ground within the early chancel has been used for burials. There are some very ancient grave slabs and a big family tomb or mausoleum.
The area around the church is used as a graveyard.

It was a fantastic opportunity to visit an unknown part of Fethard, and the light at the sunset gave the place a magic look.

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