The Norman Way is a heritage route that runs along the south coast of County Wexford. Along this Wexford Trail you will discover authentic medieval sites which will help you to understand the Norman way of life. These hidden gems of the Norman Way are waiting to be explored by you down quiet country lanes, in beautiful seaside villages and alongside stunning beaches.
The Norman Way in Wexford is a true treasure of Ireland’s Ancient East. Lose yourself in this beautiful, ancient landscape as you discover the Norman way of life in the place where it first took hold in Ireland over 800 years ago.
Who were the Normans?
The Normans were descendants of Scandinavian Vikings who settled in Normandy, France. They invaded England in 1066 and a century later they came to Ireland.
Why did the Normans come to Ireland?
In 1169, Diarmuid McMurrough, the ousted ruler of a kingdom in Ireland called Leinster, brought Norman knights here to help him wrestle back his kingdom from his enemies. These Norman forces first set foot on Irish soil at Bannow Bay here in Wexford.
After Diarmuid died, the Norman knight Richard de Clare (known as ‘Strongbow’) became the de facto ruler and Lord of Leinster and the Normans never left!
How did the Normans change Ireland?
As generations of Normans made their home here, their Norman way of doing things enhanced everyday life in Ireland.
Travel along the Norman Way in Wexford to meet the descendants of those Normans and to discover how the Normans:
– constructed formidable buildings on this landscape;
– improved agriculture and food production here;
– supported a change in the character of the Christianity practised in the country;
– and enhanced military know-how and navigation in Ireland.
On this Norman Way website you can find information to help you locate and learn about the various sites that feature along the Norman Way; find out about some of the local businesses that can be enjoyed along the Norman Way; learn about cycling along the Norman Way; and read interesting local stories and information about the sites. The Norman Way is part of the Wexford Heritage Trail and is a true treasure of Ireland’s Ancient East.