From January 2018 the Fethard Historical Society are taking over the running of the Backs to the Wall Tours of the medieval walled town of Fethard . Its a positive development whereby the thirty year old Society, founded in 1988, will provide a community based Tour Guide service for this historic town. Two further members , Mary Hanrahan and Colm McGrath have been approved by the Society to act as Tour Guides in 2018 . Further details will issue in the near future.
The weather is and has been good this year which makes the countryside around Fethard looking lovely indeed. A great time to climb up to the Holy Year Cross on Slievenamon Mountain (c.650 M), five kilometres to the south east of the town. Allow one hour up and one hour down , on the well defined path.
The opening of the new Fethard Horse Country Experience got huge national publicity on the Nationwide programme on RTE1 TV , and the Experience itself (and the Information Office, Toilets and Café at Ground Level) adds greatly to the amenities of and accessibility to this lovely corner of County Tipperary.
The opening of FETHARD HORSE COUNTRY Visitor Centre in the old Everard Alms House ( c.1608) in The Square* in the centre of the town is eminent .( * it’s really a Triangle !) The building itself is beautiful – began as an Alms House in the very early 1600;s, then had a four hundred year history of uses : as a Tholsel/Market House, Town Hall, Shop/dwelling (part of) , Ballroom, Cinema and even a Judo Hall. Many scenes from the film Stella Days with Martin Sheen were filmed there some years ago.
Over €650, 000 of State Aid has completely refurbished the building (including installing a Lift) and now the local Coolmore Stud has financed the installation of a major interactive exhibition dedicated to the history of the horse in the top two stories of the building.
The ground floor contains Tourist Information ,Toilets and a Coffee Shop.
The whole project is an initiative of the Fethard Business and Tourism Group , a local voluntary development group set up five years ago.
So March is coming to an end ( and heres hoping for a mild Shionn Riacht *) and the sun is coming back to Slieve na mBan and Magh Feimhin ( the Plain of Feimhin) where Fethard is situated. There have been great developments indeed of late ,,with the Irish State having invested €650,000 in the total restoration of the Everard Alms House (c.1608 AD) on Main Street and now Fethard Horse County -a centre dedicated to the history of the horse in the area – has been installed in the building with the major finance coming from Coolmore Stud which is headquartered in the parish.
So another reason to come see us
(*Shionn Riacht -as pronounced in Déise Irish – refers to the wild days of wind and cold and rain that comes ,usually, in Early April and that finally killed the ‘old brindled cow’- ‘an Sean Bó Riabhach’ . As the old story goes, March couldn’t kill her so it borrowed those wild days from April to finally finish her off. So , soon – after the Shionn Riacht has passed – Spring will come.
The colours are truly wonderful now. The countryside around Fethard is almost perfect this time of year and 2016 is favouring us with sunny dry weather- perfect Autumn outdoor weather. So,get out there !
We are entering the Autumn of the year 2016 and again the countryside around Fethard will look magnificent. All the ‘Big Houses’ and walled estates had large areas of deciduous woodland attached to them , with tree plantings going back to the 1600’s.
In the past twenty to thirty years a great amount of tree planting has taken place all over the area – from specimen trees in private domestic gardens to elaborate grove and avenue planting on the many stud farms in the area.
So , Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Fethard and the ‘valley near Slievenamon’ as the colours are always spectacular at this time of year.
Come see for yourself.
Fethard is still there after 800 years , so that’s pretty good going !!The old Medieval quarter of the town is looking well , thanks to a great Tidy Towns group, who have also erected new Wildlife Information boards about the place. So why not get a group together and pay us a visit.
The cold weather is finally going back north again and so its Summertime in Fethard and Slievenamon., The Fethard area and the woodlands around the base of Slievenamon are very beautiful during the month of May. Why not organise a group to have a guided tour of medieval Fethard and/or walk to the Holy Year Cross on the shoulder of Slievenamon above Killusty village. Allow two hours for a Guided Tour of Fethard and also two hours for a ‘return walk’ (from parked car) to the Holy Year Cross. For the energetic it is a wonderful 6km (4ml) walk from Fethard to the base of Slievenamon,,,past Grove Estate, some Coolmore Stud farms,Kiltinan Castle Estate and then over the River Anner at Bulliagh Bridge and onto the mountain lane and the track up to the Cross.
Spring has come and Fethard and Slievenamon country awaits all those who want to get off the beaten track and experience an unique place. A genuine Walled Town surrounded by magnificent ‘parkland’ countryside and all basking in the benign shadow of Sliabh na mBan – Mountain of the Women. See you soon.
The fethard area is very beautiful in the Autumn. The big estates and stud farms are heavily planted with deciduous trees and the Native Woodland on Grove Hill and the woodlands wrapped around Slievenamon mountain are truly a sight to behold at this time of the year. Wonderful walking country indeed and a trek up the path to The Holy Year Cross ( c.600 m) on Slievenamon is guaranteed to refresh any weary soul.