Your group have a choice of Guided Tours to choose from
1. Historic Town Trail (1.5 hours)
2. Historic Countryside Walk (Half Day and Full Day walks)
3. School and Educational Tours to suit Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and College groups.
4. Guided Tours in your Coach of the local area -including ‘Kelly Country’ and the home area of Ned Kelly’s father ‘John Red Kelly’
1. Historic Town Trail (1 ½ to 2 Hours)
This walking tour is the most popular with visitors. It takes you round the medieval walled town of Fethard where you walk in the footsteps of the Norman ‘visitors’ who came this way 800 years ago..
You visit Holy Trinity Church (c.1200), the Augustinian Abbey (1305), (both still in daily use), walk the Wall Walk on the South Battlements, see the Sheila na Gig carvings and pass through Sparagoleith (North Gate) .
You will also stand beneath the oldest ‘dated’ timber roof in all Ireland (dated to 1489) and see replicas of the famous and very rare lifesize Medieval Statues found in Fethard.(Originals are on loan for display in the National Museum in Dublin)
But above all you are entertained by the fantastic stories of love and war , of gain and loss and if you are lucky you will also get to meet the town geese !
(Note: NOT part of a Group ? Then see LATEST NEWS on the ‘Home’ and ‘Contact’ Page of this site for Dates and Times of ‘Open Tours’ for individuals and families who are not part of an organised group.)
2. Historic Countryside Walk
Fethard is set in wonderful pastoral countryside in the shadow of
Slievenamon mountain .
Half Day walks (3 hours approx) or a Full Day’s trek (6-7 hours) takes you past wooded estates, medieval castles, ‘big houses’, racing stables, stud farms and working farms. The Full Day Trek takes you to The Holy Year Cross (at 510 metres/1,650 feet) on the shoulder of Slievenamon and to wonderfull views across to the Knockmealdown and Galty mountains..
‘High Tea’ in a ‘big house’ can be arranged on route as part of the days experience – both in the Walking and Coach tours.
3.School Tours and Educational Tours.
Fethard is a ’living museum’. You have a complete Norman Walled
Town , still set in the countryside , with its original church (c.1200) – still in use, an Augustinian Abbey (1305) – also still in use, and an arched gateway is still the entrance to the town from the north.
So a complete history lesson of the medieval period is laid out in front of the students. They can see the real thing ,still in place and in use after 800 years !
4. Guided Tours in your Coach
This is for those who wish to see the surrounding countryside (within a 5 miles radius) and hear the amazing ‘world’ connections of this part of Tipperary ; e.g. , the Barton home (of Barton and Guestier wine fame) , Kiltinan Castle -now owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber ( and the fantastic ‘married’ catholic Bishop Butler story),Clonacody House ( and the ‘Oval Office Desk’ story), Knockelly Castle (and the Jolly love story), Coolmore Stud (and a huge success story) and Moyglass village (home of John Kelly, father of Ned the Australian bush ranger)
The Society accepts Donations of €5 per person for the the standard guided Tour of the Town and a minimum of 20 people or equivalent is required for a tour to take place.
During ‘Holiday Periods ‘ ( Summer Time, and also at Easter and Holiday Weekends ) we have ‘Open Tours’ to facilitate those who are not part of an organised group. These tours proceed at €5 per person, at a given time and date, regardless of the number booking for the tour. Please check ‘Latest News’ on the Home Page of this website for updates on these Open Tours.
All other tours are by negotiation ,as prices vary depending on the requirements of the group.
Arrangements for dining, ‘high teas’,packed lunches and other facilities can also be included in the ‘tour package’ if your group require these services.
However ,it is the aim of the Fethard Historical Society , through its Backs to the Wall Tours , to facilitate the greatest number of individuals,families and students to visit and enjoy this very special place.
Terry Cunningham :Terry has lived on his mini-farm south of Fethard -at the foot of Slievenamon mountain – for the past 32 years.
Terry ,with a Degree in Agricultural Science (U.C.D.) and a Masters in Rural Development (NUIG) spent over thirty years working professionally in Rural Development (especially Rural Tourism and Artisan Food) with various agencies of the Irish Government . Terry also spent three years on development work in East Africa in the 1980’s.
Now self employed ,he is involved in a variety of ventures in Tourism , Irish Food History and Local Development in Fethard and the Slievenamon area.
Terry has spent eight years ( off and on) as Chairperson of The Fethard Historical Society and is again the Chairperson for 2017 -’18 . He is also a committee member of the County Tipperary Historical Society and a member of County Tipperary Heritage Forum ( a body of Tipperary County Council)