Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bannow manor in medieval Wexford

Bannow manor in medieval Wexford

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Bannow Bay and the lost medieval town of Bannow lies along the south-west coast of Co. Wexford. The Irish name for Bannow Bay is Cuan an Bhainbh which means the ‘harbour of the sucking pigs’.[1] It was into this modern quiet inlet of the sea that many a seaborne invader came such as the Vikings and the Anglo-Normans and possibly other invaders long before the Viking age. These early people left traces of settlement in the Bannow area in the Bronze Age where a mixture of tillage and livestock farming was carried out.[2] This article attempts to collect something of the history of the medieval manor at Bannow from those far off times.

Bannow in pre-Viking times

In the days before Christianity was brought to Ireland the important people of the Bannow area ruled their district with firmness but they also embraced the new inventions. One of the most significant of these inventions was writing and Bannow and the surrounding areas possess examples of the Ogham alphabet. Into this pre-Christian society came a new religion which changed the face of Bannow and the country.[3]

Just as the invasions of the Vikings and the Normans cause change that brought conflict as all change brings conflict, the coming of Christianity brought conflict. County Wexford was one of the four areas of Ireland which experience the winds of change brought by Christianity before the time of St. Patrick. In order to impose the new religion on the people some missionaries came to Bannow and erased the pagan god’s name from the Ogham stone there standing.

At the time of the Protestant reformation in the sixteenth century it was the influence of the local landlord which had an important bearing on the religion of the ordinary people. In the fifth century the landlords of Bannow also had such influence. Maybe some of these local strong men were removed to make way for landlords more favourable to the new religion. It was likely that one of these landlords sponsored the early monastic site at Cullenstown. Whatever the circumstances of the change, the new religion of Christianity established itself in Bannow, and in Ireland, and even with all the changes of the Protestant reformation, most of the people of Bannow held to the Christian religion as promoted by St. Brecaun and St. Ibar.[4]

In the seventh century a person called Robertach mac Elgusa was princeps of Banba More. Robertach was of the Ui Bairrche people who gave their name to the cantred of Bargy in which Bannow forms the western point.[5]

Bannow in Viking times

Around Bannow Bay are a cluster of Norse place names suggesting Norse settlement. The townland of Arklow at the head of the Bay comes from the Norse personal name of Arkill or Arnkell with the word lo meaning a swampy or low-lying meadow. Even today the townland adjoins the marshy valley of the Owenduff River. A Viking silver hoard discovered at Blackcastle near Clonmines, at the head of the Bay, consisted of seventeen silver ingots and coupled with silver deposits on the eastern shore of Bannow Bay show the importance of the area to the Vikings. Silver was an important ingredient in the expanding trade of the tenth century.[6] 

The Viking settlement at Bannow was not an isolate one but part of a wider area of Viking settlement. The eastern and western points of this wider area were controlled by the Viking towns of Waterford and Wexford. In between much of the baronies of Forth and Bargy were given over to Viking rule. This control lasted some 300 years and in the early eleventh century the Vikings of the south assumed control of the Uí Ceinnsealaigh kingdom of north Wexford. There they remained unchallenged until Dermot McMurrough drove back the Vikings into their port towns before he lost his own kingdom.[7]

Plaque to Norman invasion near Bannow

The Normans come to Bannow

When Dermot McMurrough went to Wales and France seeking help to recover his kingdom of Leinster the Normans he met saw beyond restoration, they saw opportunity for themselves to carve out new estates – some may even saw creation of a new Norman kingdom, independent of the Angevin Empire.

When Robert Fitz Stephen set sail from Wales for southern Ireland in 1169 his small band of about 600 soldiers. These soldiers were composed of thirty knights, sixty men at arms and some three hundred archers and foot soldiers.[8]

They had one minor problem – where to land. The walled towns and major ports of Waterford and Wexford were in the hands of Norsemen and independent of Dermot McMurrough. The sheltered bay of Bannow, situated between the two Norse towns – divide and conquer – presented the perfect place to beach the Norman light draught vessels. Once ashore, as every good general will tell you, it is hard to dislodge a beachhead.[9] 

Robert Fitz Stephen landed at Bannow on the first day of May 1169 with three ships. On the following day Maurice de Prendergast arrived with two more ships containing ten men-at-arms and a large body of archers.[10] Among the soldiers was Hervey de Montmorency as cousin and representative of Richard de Clare (Strongbow), Earl of Pembroke.[11]

The Normans sent word of their arrival and Dermot McMurrough came to meet them with joy. The two armies went first to take Wexford town. After first putting up a brave defence the townsfolk decided with their ships all burnt and no outside help in sight to surrender. In reward for this victory Dermot McMurrough made a grant of the two cantreds of Bargy and Forth to Hervey of Montmorency. Thus, Bannow Bay and the land which would become the manor of Bannow, came under the authority of a new lord, a feudal lord, Hervey de Montmorency.[12] The conquest of Ireland would take over four centuries to complete but it would not be reversed until 1922.

Hervey de Montmorency

After the grant of the two southern cantreds of Bargy and Forth, Hervey de Montmorency joined the large Fitzgerald clan by marring Nesta, daughter of Maurice Fitzgerald. But this did nothing to win him favour with the scribe par excellence of the Norman invasion, Giraldus Cambrensis.[13]
Hervey de Montmorency was better connected with the strong man of the Norman invasion, Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, as he was uncle of Richard. It was Hervey de Montmorency who went to King Henry II in 1170 to declare the loyalty of Richard de Clare to the crown.[14] After 1176, with the death of Richard de Clare, Hervey de Montmorency seems to have lost interest in his Irish property. In 1178 he made a substantial grant of land in Co. Wexford to Buildwas abbey in Shropshire to found an abbey in Ireland. The venture didn’t get off the ground and St. Mary’s abbey in Dublin took over the project and founded Dunbrody abbey.[15] In the course of time religious houses such as Tintern abbey and Selskar abbey would own about half of the medieval parish of Bannow.[16]

In 1179 Hervey de Montmorency gave up secular life and became a monk of Christ Church in Canterbury. Hervey gifted the Christ Church many lands and churches in Ireland including Bannow. In 1245 Christ Church sold the Irish property to Tintern abbey in Wexford for 625 marks and an annual rent of 10 marks. Tintern was to maintain a chaplain at St. Brendan’s chapel at Bannow to say annual prayers there for the soul of Hervey and other benefactors.[17]

William Marshal the elder

It would appear that the borough of Bannow was established and granted privileges by Geoffrey Fitz Robert, seneschal of Leinster for William Marshal.[18] Although other evidence suggests that Hervey de Montmorency had founded the town.[19] The town was built on an island in Bannow Bay but now the island is no longer as the shifting sands which buried the medieval town joined the island on its eastern side to the mainland.[20]

In 1205 the estates of Hervey de Montmorency in Co. Wexford fell escheated to William Marshal.[21] This William Marshal was born in 1144 to a minor gentry family in Anglo-Norman England. But it was in France, in the plains of Normandy that William Marshal had his schooling and from where he went on to become the greatest knight in medieval Europe. William Marshal served successive Plantagenet kings of England and on the death of King John in 1217 William Marshal was made guardian of the ten year old King Henry III. It was William Marshal who broke the back of the French invasion of England and prevented Prince Louis of France from becoming King of England.
In 1189 William Marshal married one of the greatest heiress of her day, Isabella de Clare, daughter of Richard de Clare and Aoife, daughter of Dermot McMurrough. By this marriage William Marshal became Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Leinster. His Irish lands covered much of the modern counties of Kilkenny, Carlow, Kildare, Offaly and Wexford.[22]

The sons of William Marshal the elder

William Marshal the elder, Earl of Pembroke, left five sons and five daughters at the time of his death. With five sons the succession to the great Marshal inheritance in England, Wales, France and Ireland seemed secure for generations. But by a strange twist of fate each of the five sons died in succession without leaving any male heirs. William Marshal the younger, Earl of Pembroke, died in leaving the King’s sister, Eleanor as his widow. She subsequently married Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and received £400 per year in name of her dower. The next Earl of Pembroke, Richard Marshal died on 16th April 1234 after receiving severe wounds in the Battle of the Curragh on 1st April.

The next brother Gilbert Marshal died in 1241 leaving Margaret of Scotland as his widow (she died in 1244). He was succeeded by Walter Marshal who died on 24th November 1245 leaving Margaret, Countess of Lincoln and Pembroke, as his widow and the whole of County Kildare and land in Carlow and Laois as her dower. The last brother, Anselm Marshal, died eleven days after his brother leaving Matilda de Bohun as his widow. She subsequently married Roger de Quency, Earl of Winchester. Although Anselm didn’t receive seisin of the Marshal lands, Matilda de Bohun was giving the old and new town of Jerpoint as dower.[23]

Partition of the Marshal lands 1247

After the last brother died in 1245 the great Marshal inheritance fell to the five daughters of William Marshal the elder. Feudal law said all the lands should pass to the eldest male heir. But if no male heir was left the property was to be divided equally among the female heirs.   All five daughters had married great English lords and left issue. Two of the daughters left only female heirs, seven co-heiresses and three co-heiresses respectively. Thus by feudal law the Marshal lands were divided into five parts and of these two parts were divided into seven and three parts. The dower lands of three widows also influenced the division of the property.

St Mary's medieval church at Bannow

Joan Marshal

County Wexford was given to the second daughter of William Marshal the elder, Joan Marshal. She had married, after 1219, Warin de Munchensi and was died by 1247 leaving her son John de Munchensi to inherit. John died shortly after and his sister Joan (wife of William de Valence, half-brother of the king) was on 13th August 1247 given seisin of County Wexford. The manor of Bannow was included in the Wexford property (total value £342 10s 2½d) and was worth £31 10d at the partition.[24]

William de Valence

William de Valence and Joan de Munchensi had three sons and four daughters. The eldest son, John de Valence died in 1277 and was buried in Westminster Abbey beside his sister, Margaret. The second son, William de Valence, was killed in battle in 1282 between Gilbert de Clare and the Welsh near Llandeilo. The third son, Aymer de Valence would inherit Bannow and Wexford.[25]

Joan de Valence

After the death of her husband, Joan de Valence was given a third part of her husband’s estate as her dower lands to support her in her widowhood. Among the lands she received was Pembroke castle in Wales, Inteberg manor in Worcester and Wexford castle in Ireland with seven other manors there. Included in these manors was that of Bannow with the Isle of Keirach. Joan also held the new town of Jerpoint in Co. Kilkenny. Joan de Valence was succeeded by her son Aymer de Valence.[26] Among the local people of Bannow to see the changes in the landlord was possibly a knight named Colfer and his lady who’s memorial tomb at Bannow was seen by Du Noyer in about 1834 and produced in the then Dublin Penny Journey.[27]

Aymer de Valence

After the death of his mother in September 1307, Aymer de Valence was regarded as Earl of Pembroke. In that year, the borough of Bannow had about 160 burgages.[28] Like medieval settlers in other places the people of Bannow were mostly farmers, although some may have earned a living by fishing. In 1640 John Hollywood of Tartaine, Co. Dublin, held £3 and the free fishing yearly out of the burgage plots of Bannow.[29]

Each medieval farmer had a small plot of land to grow food for his family while his main occupation was to help his neighbours in farming the three large open fields of the medieval manor. Most of these farmers held their land in return for labour service on the lord’s demesne lands. These services included so many days harrowing, ploughing, weeding, cutting the corn and threshing it. Other people took care of the animals such as the oxen for ploughing and pulling the heavy carts, sheep, pigs and other cattle.

In 1319 Patrick Cosyn was vicar of Bannow and collector of the Parliamentary Subsidy in the area. He was still vicar in 1339. The church of St. Mary in which he preached consisted of a nave and chancel with two side chapels.[30] One of these side chapels could have been the chapel of St. Brendan where Tintern abbey maintained a chaplain to say prayers for the soul of Hervey de Montmorency.[31] The parishioners who heard those prayers were almost all new colonists in the Bannow area. Such was the impact of the new Anglo-Norman settlement in the tow cantreds of Forth and Bargy that the original Irish peoples simply disappeared. The Welsh, English, French, Flemish and others from Europe who settled in the area gave the place a unique language and culture which survived until the end of the eighteenth century and in some pockets until the start of the twentieth.[32]  

Meanwhile Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke and lord of Bannow, served King Edward II in England, France and Gascony as he had served the King’s father in many campaigns against the Scots. In 1306 Aymer de Valence was made Guardian of Scotland and in 1307 captured the wife and brother of Robert the Bruce, the King of Scotland.[33]

Aymer de Valence died in June 1324 while on an embassy in France. His remains were brought back to England and he was given the honour of burial in Westminster Abbey. His widow survived him for over 50 years and founded Pembroke College, Cambridge.[34]

On 26th July 1324 an inquisition post mortem was made concerning the property of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, in parts of Co. Wexford. The jury found that Aymer held manor of Bannow (Banua) among other extensive lands in Wexford. At Bannow there was a hall, and a grange roofed with straw. But the condition of the buildings was not good as the jury described them as ‘almost prostrate’.

The manor of Bannow also had a water mill and earned money from the perquisites of the hundred court in the town of Bannow.[35] The rent of the burgages attached to the town of Bannow was then calculated as £8 0s 10d.[36]

There was also land held in demesne and land rented by tenants at Carrykmax, Rodanmactyr, the town of Moycrohry and Ethergaul. Also attached to the manor were a number of free tenancies. At Rosmyl Reymond de Barry held one carucate of land; Adam Keating held one carucate at Coulussyl and Wolfram Deverous held another carucate in the same place; and at Coulneth and Coulnerath the heirs of William Minax held one and a half carucates.[37] The land of Bannow was used for tillage and pasturing animals. There was also forestry in the area for the pigs and to provide building materials.[38]

Medieval graves at Bannow

Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, held land also in Co. Kilkenny, extensive lands in South Wales, and other estates in such English counties as Gloucester, Dorset, Hereford, Worcester, Norfolk, Suffolk, Buckingham and Hertford. Although twice married, Aymer de Valence left no children to inherit. Instead Aymer de Valence was succeeded by three heirs: John de Hastings (aged 30), Joan Comyn, Countess of Athol (aged 28), and Elizabeth Comyn (aged 20).[39] John Hastings was the son of John Hastings, 1st Lord Hastings and Isabel de Valence, sister and co-heir of Aymer de Valence. John Hastings junior was succeeded by his son Laurence de Hastings who in October 1339 was recognised as 11th Earl of Pembroke.[40] John de Hastings acquired the larger share of the Pembroke estate through the power of the Despenser family.

Joan and Elizabeth Comyn were the daughters of John Comyn of Badenoch and Joan de Valence. John Comyn was murdered by Robert the Bruce in February 1306 at the Greyfriars church in Dumfries.

Elizabeth Comyn

Elizabeth Comyn had inherited the manor of Bannow in Co. Wexford along with land at Jerpoint and Everdrym. On 8th June 1428 a commission of inquiry was issued to Henry Fortescue, James Cornewallys, Robert Folyng, Maurice Stafford, Walter Whitey, William Lyncoll', John Gogh and Thomas Abbey, to established the history of Bannow and the other properties and established who was the rightful owner. The justices said that Elizabeth Comyn had the manor in fee.[41]

Elizabeth’s sister, Joan, married David Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl, and acquired part of Co. Wexford including Ferns castle.[42]

Among the English properties inherited by Elizabeth Comyn was the powerful stronghold of Goodrich castle. In the mid-1320s England was controlled by the Marcher lords Hugh le Despenser the older and his son Hugh Despenser the younger. The Despensers also controlled the King, Edward II. Upon her inheritance, Hugh le Despenser the younger promptly kidnapped Elizabeth Comyn in London and transported her to Herefordshire to be imprisoned in her own castle at Goodrich. In April 1325, under threat over death, Elizabeth Comyn was forced to sign over the castle and other lands to the Despensers. She was also forced to sign a debt notice of £10,000.[43]

This kidnapping and forced surrender was of significance for Elizabeth’s Irish property as Hugh le Despenser was lord of Kilkenny and owner of Kilkenny castle.[44] Upon her release Elizabeth Comyn married Richard Talbot, 2nd Baron Talbot, in order to secure protection. After the invasion of England in 1326 by Queen Isabella and the defeat of the Despenser family, Richard Talbot promptly seized Goodrich castle and in 1327 Elizabeth was recognised as the legal owner.[45] By her marriage with Richard Talbot she had a son, Gilbert Talbot, ancestor of the later Earls of Shrewsbury and Waterford and Lords of Wexford. It was during the time of Richard Talbot that the Black Death came to Ireland. Bannow, like many other Anglo-Norman settlements suffered causalities but to what extent we are unsure. After the death of Richard Talbot, Elizabeth Comyn married John Bromwich. 

John Bromwich

With his marriage to Elizabeth Comyn between 1358 and 1361 John Bromwich made his first acquaintance with Ireland. Her marriage to Sir John Bromwich produced a daughter called Anna who it seems died without issue. After Elizabeth Comyn died, John Bromwich held Bannow by the law of England with a reversion, after his death, to Gilbert Talbot, son and heir of Elizabeth Comyn.[46]
In about 1369 the land of Bannow, Jerpoint and Everdrym were seized by the Irish government under the Act of Absentees. This measure was introduced to force owners of estates, rents and offices in Ireland, who lived overseas, to come and live in Ireland and contribute to the defence of the country. Soon after the attorneys of John Bromwich settled with the Irish government but still the lands were not restored.[47]

On 13th May 1371 John Bromwich received pardon for not going to Ireland or sending troops there as set out in the Act of Absentees. Elizabeth Comyn also didn’t send any aid to Ireland. John Bromwich said that he was absent from Ireland because he was in service of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, in Lombardy. Later he was in service of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, in the wars in France and England. The king pardoned John Bromwich and ordered William de Windsor to restore him to his Irish lands and the reversion to Elizabeth Comyn.[48]

On 15th May 1371 John Bromwich appointed Henry Conway and Roger Colyn as his Irish attorneys for one year.[49] His Irish estate was still in government hands to the great loss of income for John Bromwich and contrary to the royal patent he had received. John Bromwich sought a remedy through his attorneys over the next few years. In 1374 he was finally successful. On 28th October 1374, at Castledermot, an order was issued to exonerate John Bromwich and to cause him to be quit of any fees as an inspection of the rolls of chancery showed the King had entirely granted and restored the estate to John Bromwich with all their issues and profits.[50]

On 26th June 1376 Sir John Bromwich appointed William Carlel and Roger Cullen as his Irish attorneys for the succeeding two years as he stayed in England.[51] For more on John Bromwich see =

Bannow in the fifteenth century

John Bromwich died sometime before September 1388 when the manor of Bannow revered to the Talbot family as Bromwich left no heirs by Elizabeth Comyn.[52] Gilbert Talbot had succeeded his father Richard Talbot in 1356 as the 3rd Baron Talbot. Gilbert Talbot served in Gascony in the Hundred Years War. Later he was involved in military campaigns in Spain and Portugal. In 1352 he married, as his first wife, Pernel, daughter of James Butler, 1st Earl of Ormond by Eleanor, daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford and 3rd Earl of Essex by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of King Edward the first.[53]

Gilbert Talbot died of the pestilence in Spain in April 1387 and was succeeded by his son Richard Talbot who in 1388 assumed ownership of Bannow and the other properties of his grandmother, Elizabeth Comyn.[54] At some unknown date, before 1387, Gilbert Talbot gave the reversion of Bannow to Robert Evere and Ismania, his wife, and to the heirs of Robert forever. With the death of John Bromwich, Robert Evere gained possession of Bannow along with Jerpoint and Everdrym. After his death, Ismania married John Drakea and James Evere, son and heir of Robert, confirmed the estate to John Drake and Ismania for their lives. On 1st January 1420 Ismania Evere died and John Evere (aged 50 years and more), and his wife, Alice Preston, were given full seisin.[55]

The Talbot succession

Meanwhile in 1389, Richard Talbot, 4th Baron Talbot was recognised as Lord of Wexford on the death of John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke. Richard Talbot died in September 1396 and was succeeded by his first son, Gilbert Talbot. This Gilbert Talbot, Lord of Wexford, was at the siege of Caen in 1417 and led a successful raid into the Cotentin before eventual defeat. He was later captain of Caen castle and in October 1418 died at the siege of Rouen. Gilbert Talbot was at first succeeded by his daughter, Ankaret but on her death in December 1421 the lordship of Wexford descended on John Talbot, second son of Richard Talbot, 4th Baron.[56]

John Talbot, 7th Baron Talbot, was created Earl of Shrewsbury in 1442 and in 1446 was made Earl of Waterford.[57] John Talbot served in France and fought against Joan de Arc. In 1445 he was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In 1449 he bravely defended Rouen against strong opposition. In the 1450s he fought in Gascony in the last engagements of the Hundred Years War and died in 1453 at Castillon.[58]

John Talbot was succeeded by his son John Talbot, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury. The second Earl fought in France. Back home he was chancellor of Ireland and treasurer of England among other jobs. In 1445 he married his cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond and died in July 1460 at the battle of Northampton on the Lancastrian side.[59]

The 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury was succeeded by his son, John Talbot, 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury and Waterford and Lord of Wexford. The 3rd Earl died in 1473 and was succeeded by his son George Talbot who in 1475 got seisin of his father’s estates in England, Wales and Ireland. In May 1536 George Talbot lost his Irish estates under the Act of Absentees and died in 1539 having acquired some estates in England as compensation.[60]

Interestingly, and not of great help for this article, the survey of the Irish lands of the Earl of Shrewsbury fails to mention Bannow. Among the places in the survey were the manors of Rosslare, Ballymore, Balmaskellers (Ballynasculloge), Bargy, Kildowan (Kildavin) and the villa of Wexford.[61] But from other evidence we know that the Earl of Shrewsbury held Bannow and the area around it. In March 1598 John Prendergast of Gurgines (Gortins), Co. Wexford held at the time of death various properties including one burgage plot in Bannow which was formerly held of the Earl of Shrewsbury at 6d per annum but since 1536 was held from the Crown.[62] 

Bannow in the late fifteenth century

Meanwhile, from the middle of the fifteenth century the economy had sufficiently recovered from the Black Death of 1350 and subsequent plagues along with the disruption to trade by the Hundred Years War to see new buildings across the landscape. Church, abbeys, and tower houses were built a new or old structures go a big facelift. The 1429 subsidy of £10 to anyone who would erect a fortified castle or tower within the Pale is often seen as the start of tower house construction as a response to civil unrest and a break own in law and order. But it is in the good agricultural land where most tower houses were erected and these areas were more often than not within the land of peace. But without economic improvement from 1450 onwards landlords would simply not be able to afford to build tower houses. Thus tower houses are to be seen not so much as a reflection of civil unrest but as a reflection of economic improvement. North County Wexford was often seen as the area of civil unrest yet most of the tower houses in Wexford are in the quiet southern half of the county with the majority of these in the baronies of Forth and Bargy. In 1598 the baronies of Forth and Bargy were described as ‘the most civil part, contained within a river called the Pill, where the ancient gentlemen descended on the first conquerors, do inhabit’.[63]

The civil parish of Bannow had tower houses at Bannow, Barrystown, Cullenstown, Newtown, Coolhull, and Danescastle.[64] By 1640 some of these places were still owned by Anglo-Norman families such as Cullen, Duff and Cheevers. In the changing map of seventeenth Wexford, Nicholas Loftus, Protestant, held Bannow castle.[65] By 1700 much of the parish of Bannow was owned by the Boyce family.[66] 

Tower houses in Bannow and surrounds

Bannow after the medieval age

The economic, political and environmental changes that occurred after the end of the medieval age played bad for Bannow. The new medieval town of New Ross is said to have had a negative economic impact on Bannow, Clonmines and The Island.[67] In 1535 Bannow was attacked by Butler gallowglasses and kerne in the battle between Fitzgerald of Kildare and the Butlers of Kilkenny for control of Ireland. Later in 1600 Bannow was again attacked, this time by the Irish led by Donal Spainneach as part of the Nine Years War.[68] Yet the medieval town continued as in 1603 the town was listed as one of the chief nine towns in Co. Wexford and in 1615 the church and chancel was still in repair.[69] In the middle of the seventeenth century there were still a number of thatched houses in the borough arranged along a number of named streets. Many of the people who lived in these houses were of English and Flemish origin. They were there on that first day when Robert Fitz Stephen sailed into Bannow Bay. When the great William Marshal came into town they were there and after him came the people of Valence and Bromwich and Talbot and the Bannow people lived on.

But it was not the march of political armies or economic changed which finally cause the end of Bannow. The place was blessed with its location beside the sea with access to the global communication system of its day – sailing ships. Yet when the sea decided to push the sand out of the water and onto the land around Bannow the town had no defence. By the end of the seventeenth century much of the town was covered in sand.[70] In 1800, when the parliamentary borough of Bannow ceased to send two M.P.s to the Irish Parliament, the medieval town was no longer in existence. By 1837 Bannow was known as “the Irish Herculaneum”. The mainland part of Bannow parish continued to exist and in the nineteenth century its farmers were considered comfortable and prosperous.[71] Today little of the medieval town stands visible above the sand except the ruined church of St. Mary.[72]  


End of post


[1] Goddard Henry Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333 (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2005), vol. III, p. 88
[2] Geraldine Stout, ‘Wexford in Prehistory 5000 BC to 300 AD’, in Wexford History and Society, edited by Kevin Whelan (Geography Publications, Dublin, 1987), pp. 17, 30
[3] Richard Roche, ‘Forth and Bargy – a place apart’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 104
[4] Richard Roche, ‘Forth and Bargy – a place apart’, in Wexford History and Society, pp. 104, 105
[5] Paul MacCotter, Medieval Ireland: Territorial, Political and Economic Divisions (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2008), p. 251
[6] Billy Colfer, Arrogant Trespass: Anglo-Norman Wexford 1169-1400 (Duffry Press, Enniscorthy, 2002), p. 22
[7] Richard Roche, ‘Forth and Bargy – a place apart’, in Wexford History and Society, pp. 105, 106
[8] A.J. Otway-Ruthven, A history of Medieval Ireland (Ernest Benn, London, 1980), p. 43
[9] Goddard Henry Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, vol. 1, p. 149
[10] Giraldus Cambrensis (edited by A.B. Scott & F.X. Martin), Expugnatio Hibernica: the Conquest of Ireland (Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 1978), p. 293, note 28; A.J. Otway-Ruthven, A history of Medieval Ireland, p. 43
[11] F.X. Martin, ‘Allies and an overlord, 1169-72’, in A new history of Ireland, Vol. II: Medieval Ireland 1169-1534, edited by Art Cosgrove (Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 68
[12] Giraldus Cambrensis (edited by A.B. Scott & F.X. Martin), Expugnatio Hibernica, pp. 33, 35
[13] Giraldus Cambrensis (edited by A.B. Scott & F.X. Martin), Expugnatio Hibernica, p. 293, note30
[14] F.X. Martin, ‘Allies and an overlord, 1169-72’, in A new history of Ireland, Vol. II: Medieval Ireland 1169-1534, p. 81
[15] William Hunt, ‘Hervey de Mount-Maurice’, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 39, p. 215
[16] Billy Colfer, ‘Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 88, Fig 3.9
[17] William Hunt, ‘Hervey de Mount-Maurice’, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 39, p. 215
[18] Goddard Henry Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, vol. III, p. 88
[19] Billy Colfer, ‘Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 84
[20] Giraldus Cambrensis (edited by A.B. Scott & F.X. Martin), Expugnatio Hibernica, p. 294, note 30
[21] Billy Colfer, ‘Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 84
[22] Jim Sutton, ‘Medieval New Ross: Its Beginnings and Early Years’, in The Wexford Man: Essays in honour of Nicky Furlong, edited by Bernard Browne (Geography Publications, Dublin, 2007), pp. 12, 13
[23] Goddard Henry Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, vol. III, pp. 65, 75, 76, 77
[24] Goddard Henry Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, vol. III, pp. 85, 86
[25] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. X (Alan Sutton, 1987), pp. 381, 382
[26] J.E.E.S. Sharp (ed.), Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. V, Edward II (Kraus reprint, 1973), no. 56
[27] Rev. James B. Leslie, Ferns Clergy and Parishes (Author, 1936), p. 124
[28] Goddard Henry Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, vol. III, p. 88
[29] Geraldine Tallon (ed.), Court of Claims: Submissions and Evidence 1663 (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 2006), no. 751
[30] Rev. James B. Leslie, Ferns Clergy and Parishes, pp. 122, 124
[31] William Hunt, ‘Hervey de Mount-Maurice’, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 39, p. 215
[32] James Lydon, The Lordship of Ireland in the Middle Ages (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2003), p. 224
[33] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. X, pp. 383, 385
[34] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. X, pp. 386, 387
[35] J.E.E.S. Sharp (ed.), Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. VI, Edward II, no. 518, p. 327
[36] Billy Colfer, ‘Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 100
[37] J.E.E.S. Sharp (ed.), Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. VI, Edward II, no. 518, p. 327
[38] Billy Colfer, ‘Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 91
[39] J.E.E.S. Sharp (ed.), Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. VI, Edward II, no. 518
[40] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. X, pp. 388, 389
[42] Philomena Connolly (ed.), Irish Exchequer Payments (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 1998), pp. 403, 425 
[44] Eric St. John Brooks (ed.), Knight’s fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny (Stationery Office, Dublin, 1950), p. ix
[48] Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward III, 1370-1374, p. 87
[49] Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward III, 1370-1374, p. 90
[50] accessed on 19 June 2016; Elizabeth Dowse & Margaret Murphy, ‘Rotulus Clausus de Anno 48 Edward III – A Reconstruction’, in Analecta Hibernica, No. 35 (1992), p. 134
[51] Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward III, 1374-1377, p. 285
[53] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. XII/I, pp. 614, 615
[54] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. XII/I, p. 616
[56] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. XII/I, pp. 616, 618, 619, 620
[57] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. XII/I, p. 620
[58] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, pp. 701, 702
[59] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, pp. 704, 705
[60] C.E. Cockeye, The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, pp. 706, 708, 709
[61] Gearoid Mac Niocaill (ed.), Crown surveys of lands 1540-41 with the Kildare rental begun in 1518 (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 1992), pp. 15, 16, 17, 18
[62] Margaret C. Griffith (ed.), Calendar of Inquisitions formerly in the Office of the Chief Remembrancer of the Exchequer prepared from the MSS of the Irish Record Commission (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 1991), no. J1 78/43
[63] Billy Colfer, ‘Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 91
[64] Billy Colfer, ‘Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 92, Fig 3.11
[65] Robert Simington (ed.), The Civil Survey A.D. 1654-1656 County Wexford, vol. IX (Stationery Office, Dublin, 1953), pp. 150, 151, 152
[66] Daniel Gahan, ‘The Estate System of County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 208
[67] Billy Colfer, ‘Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford’, in Wexford History and Society, p. 86
[68] Richard Roche, ‘Forth and Bargy – a place apart’, in Wexford History and Society, pp. 110, 112
[69] J.S. Brewer & William Bullen (eds.), Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal library at Lambeth (5 vols. Kraus reprint, 1974), Vol. 4 (1601-1603), p. 448; Rev. James B. Leslie, Ferns Clergy and Parishes, p. 124
[70] R.E. Glasscock, ‘Land and people, c.1300’, in A new history of Ireland, Vol. II: Medieval Ireland 1169-1534, p. 208
[71] Rev. James B. Leslie, Ferns Clergy and Parishes, p. 124
[72] Goddard Henry Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, vol. III, p. 88

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