Enniscorthy Castle - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

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ENNISCORTHY CASTLE, although occupied as a dwelling in modern times, must at last be numbered in the category of ruins. It is quadrilateral in form, with an engaged round tower at each corner. Some years ago, the Earl of Portsmouth manifested a desire to have it thoroughly restored, but was not encouraged to carry out his intentions, owing to a failure to come to terms with the lessee, a Miss Wallace, who holds for life. Its yard was recently employed for storing builder’s material, among which there appeared portions of the joisting from the floors. In anticipation of the time when the restoration should commence, the cabinet factory of Mr. A. MacDermott, adjoining the grounds, remained a one story building for many years. It is now two stories. It was about sixteen years ago that the attempt to restore the Castle took shape. Lime and sand had been drawn, when it was abandoned. Among its latest occupants were the Royal Irish Constabulary, about the year 1866. Mr. Thomas Kough, J.P., diocesan secretary, had an office in it for some years before his removal to Kilkenny. The Castle gardens, about half an acre, are in possession of Mr. Thomas Wilkinson, sub-sheriff, and bear fruit and vegetables. There is a difference of opinion among authors as to whether the Castle was built by Raymond le Gros, husband of Basilica, or by the de Prendergasts, who were the next owners of Enniscorthy. It was defended with “great guns” against Cromwell, and for a brief period served the uses of a prison during the insurgent occupation in 1798. There is a strong feeling among the Enniscorthians in favour of its restoration, and it certainly would add greatly to the appearance of the town.

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