The Norman Way is a heritage trail that runs along the south coast of County Wexford. Along this Wexford Trail you will discover authentic medieval sites that will help you to understand the Norman way of life. These hidden gems are waiting to be explored down quiet country lanes, in beautiful seaside villages and alongside stunning beaches. Lose yourself in this beautiful, ancient landscape as you discover the place where the Norman way of life first took hold in Ireland over 800 years ago.
The Norman Way is a true treasure of Ireland’s Ancient East.
Travel along the Norman Way in Wexford to meet the descendants of the Norman families that made this area their home from the 12th century onwards. Discover how the Normans:
Constructed formidable buildings on this landscape
Improved agriculture and food production here
Supported a change in the character of the Christianity practised in the country
Enhanced military know-how and navigation in Ireland
Who were the Normans?
The Normans were descendants of Scandinavian Vikings who settled in Normandy, France. They invaded England in 1066 and a century later they came to Ireland.
Why did the Normans come to Ireland?
In 1169, Diarmuid McMurrough, the ousted ruler of a kingdom in Ireland called Leinster, brought Norman knights here to help him wrestle back his kingdom from his enemies. These Norman forces first set foot on Irish soil at Bannow Bay here in Wexford. After Diarmuid died, the Norman knight Richard de Clare (known as ‘Strongbow’) became the de facto ruler and Lord of Leinster and the Normans never left!
Explore our Norman Heritage more…..
Discover the Norman way of life in the place where it first took hold in Ireland.
The route of the Norman Way, taking in each of the sites from Our Lady’s Island to Kilmore Quay, is approximately 22km.
The distance between Kilmore Quay and St Mary’s Church in New Ross is approximately 43km.