Ferry Carrig - 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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ONE of the most agreeable walks from Wexford is that which leads to the famous Ferry Carrig. Passing through West-gate, and along the Spa Well Road, many handsome suburban residences are seen, at both sides of the way. The Gaol and Union Workhouse share attention, particularly the Workhouse, which is a grey stone building, of many gables, standing upon a well-cultivated and judiciously planted farm of ten acres. Just at the opening, where the Workhouse impresses itself, the road descends and crosses a little stream, which, under ancient charters, marked the northern boundary of the municipality. At a further stage of the journey, the Slaney comes into view. Alma, the residence of Mr. Edward Fitzgerald Ryan, agreeably interrupts the journey. From here the road runs out of sight of the river, the next glimpse of which is obtained from the top of the last hill. From this point of observation, Ferry Carrig is presented like a delicate and well composed painting. On the left bank of the river is the ruin of a square tower, mounted on a high rock, and surrounded by huge splinters of rock, frowning at the trim Crimean monument on the opposite side. The latter is built in the style of the Irish Round Towers, and its height is augmented through being erected upon a hill, whose steep sides are thickly planted. Upon a portion of this hill, the original fortress of Fitzstephen once stood. The square tower on the rock, also of Anglo-Norman origin, has often been confounded with the pile of masonry in which the adventurer successfully resisted the assaults of the Wexfordians.

A white bridge across the river, between the towers, leads the eye from one to the other. Beneath the base of the square tower a solidly constructed wall carries a winding road, which is soon lost in trees, on the way to Artramont and Edenvale. Beneath the wall, two or more fishing cots are usually moored. Beyond the bridge and towers, plumy masses of foliage line the hills on either side of the river, while the far distance is of golden fields, meeting the sky with the faintest perceptible line. It may be compared to a scene in the opera, and, contemplated from the distance of the hill, one almost expects a well dressed crowd of villagers to start out of the foreground, with an opening chorus. The rippling shadow of the tower on the river; the boat sidling along with rounded sail; the donkey-cart creeping over the white road; all are adjuncts which delight the soul of the scenic artist.

Looking up the river from the bridge, on the right bank, the trees are seen which surround the charming residence of the Hon. Mrs. Deane-Morgan, Ardkandrisk. On the left bank, the farm of Mr. Samuel Godkin, crowned by a comfortable dwelling, slopes gently to the water side. Ferry Carrig is about two and a-half English miles from Wexford.

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