Blending the Old with the New Ross
New Ross has seen a big increase in tourism in the last few years. New Ross has now become one of the top tourist attractions in the sunny south east.
Steeped in history, Patrick Kennedy the great grandfather of John F Kennedy was born in New Ross which lead to John F Kennedy been the first ever American president to visit Ireland in 1963 where he visited his ancestral home. Kennedy himself referred to his Irish visit as “the best four days of my life”. The Kennedy homestead sees thousands of people walk through it every year and in 1968 Eamon de Valera opened the JFK memorial Arboretum and park to commemorate the late US President J.K Kennedy.
The town’s arts centre is St Michael’s Theatre. The building was built in 1806, eight years after the insurrection of 1798. St Michael’s has a 300-seat theatre, a 50-seat studio venue, an art gallery, a 3D digital cinema. It hosts art exhibitions, musicals, shows matinees every Saturday and arthouse films are screened in seasons.
Just 3 minutes’ walk from St Michael’s theatre you can set sale on the Dunbrody Famine Ship and go back in time to 1894. The Dunbordy famine ship is a full size, ocean-going recreation of the actual timber-built ship, which played a leading part in the 19th century emigration to the USA. Your tour-guide will reveal to you the realities of life on the notorious ‘Coffin Ships’.
If you like stepping back in time then a guided tour of the Hook lighthouse is a must for all history fanatics. Built 800 years ago, the lighthouse is now the oldest operational lighthouse in the world. Humpback and fin whales often visit the waters around Hook Peninsula which has a wealth of beautiful beaches. That famous phrase ‘by hook or by crook’ is to believed to have originated from the Hook. Who new!!
Loftus Hall is a large mansion house on the Hook peninsula. It is said by locals to have been haunted by the devil and the ghost of a young woman. By taking a tour of the hall, you will learn the history of the hall through the ages and you will be a part of re-enacting the famous card game with the dark stranger that was the origination of The Legend of Loftus hall!
Dig deeper into history of the surrounding areas and discover Norman New Ross through the eye of a needle at Ros Tapestry. Ros Tapestry is a unique project which involves over 150 stitches working on 15 very large tapestries. It is one of the largest series of embroidered tapestries in Europe. Each tapestry depicts a different significant event in the history of the New Ross. As quoted by Susan Cross ‘A tale of romance, bloodshed and great alliances’.
Moving from Ros tapestry art work you can visit the remanding Norman ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. William Marshall and his wife Isabella developed the town of New Ross and founded St. Marys Abbey. St Marys was considered to be the largest parish church built in medieval Ireland and houses one of the largest collections of medieval funerary monuments found in the country. If your interest is in abbeys Dunbordy and Tintern abbey are a scenic drive away from New Ross town.
New Ross has so many hidden gems, it will take your breath away. With quirky and fashionable shops, cafes and the newly opened Kennedy Boutique Hotel there is something for every tourist.