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New ‘Cobblestone Strips’ to mark site of original Fethard Gateways

Historical Society members, Terry Cunningham and Pat Looby, showing visitors from the Netherlands the new Gateway Road Marking at Watergate depicting where the Medieval Town Wall crossed the road. L to R: Pat Looby, Terry Cunningham, Lex De Wit, Freddie Aldershoff, Femke Vleeshouwer and Jelle Gorter.

Historical Society members, Terry Cunningham and Pat Looby, showing visitors from the Netherlands the new Gateway Road Marking at Watergate depicting where the Medieval Town Wall crossed the road. L to R: Pat Looby, Terry Cunningham, Lex De Wit, Freddie Aldershoff, Femke Vleeshouwer and Jelle Gorter.

Another piece of the tourism plan for medieval Fethard has been put in place in recent weeks with the installation of ‘cobblestone strips’ on the roadways to mark the sites of the four original gateways that were removed during the 1800s and early 1900s.

The road markings are installed in conjunction with the gateway signage that gives the names of all the five original gateways that led through the wall into the old medieval town. This work, financed and carried out by Tipperary County Council, all leads to improving the ‘visitor experience’ to the old town and dovetails with the Medieval Town Trail brochure produced by the Fethard Historical Society two years ago.

Finally, it can be said that Fethard is being ‘discovered’; as this summer there is a steady stream of visitors to the town. Hopefully, work on the tourism reception centre planned for the Town Hall will begin in the Autumn as funding has been sourced by the Fethard Business and Tourism Group from both Tipperary Leader and the County Council and this ‘tourist hub’ will then be the final piece of the jigsaw that will ensure that Fethard can really begin to sell itself as a very special place to visit.

Visitors to the town, especially those who take a guided visit to the medieval quarter, are genuinely amazed with the extent of the medieval fabric that still remains. What is quite unique is the fact that the two medieval Churches – old Holy Trinity (c.1200) and the Augustinian Abbey (1305) – are still intact and in regular use. The various projects undertaken by the pupils from Patrician Presentation Secondary School over the years: the ‘reproduction’ Medieval Statues, Town Model and this year’s Grave Slab project (all now housed, with kind permission, in old Holy Trinity Church) are a huge addition to the Medieval Trail.

 

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