Previous | Item 33 of 135 |

Fethard Harbour, County Wexford (Minor Harbours of Ireland)

Fethard Quay

Abstract: This collection contains files which describe the construction and evolution of Fethard Harbour, County Wexford, from its earliest structure to its current form.

Is part ofMinor Harbours of Ireland

This visualisation provides an interactive view of the LiDAR associated with this collection. It is also equipped with measurement tools to calculate distances or areas and profile or clipping tools for close-up inspections.

Link to full screen visualisation:

Origin information
Dublin, Ireland : University College Dublin
Date created:
Type of Resource
still image
mixed material
Physical description
3 items
Physical description: Files include LiDAR point cloud data, and a bibliography of materials such as manuscripts, images, and printed materials relating to Fethard Harbour.
Biographical/historical information
Fethard Quay has been described as Ireland's smallest harbour (Hassard, 1923) and is certainly one of the oldest harbours on Ireland's east coast which is still largely intact in its original form. The harbour, approximately 30 meters by 60 meters in dimension, consists of two piers, one L-shaped, in addition to slipways outside the structure on each side, the eastern slipway a more recent construction. It was purpose built in 1741 by Nicholas Loftus, who owned much of Hook Head, for the Commissioners of Revenue to harbour a single ship, the King's Barge, otherwise understood as the revenue barge, for which he received £200 in payment (Irish, 1741-42). Built largely of limestone (Stanley, 2016), which is not found in this locale, in addition to some amount of old red sandstone that is local, it is probable that the limestone was shipped from the Loftus harbour in Slade, further south on Hook Head. It is also likely that workmen from Slade built the harbour, as traces of vertically set stone for coping can still be seen in part of the west pier, a style used at Slade but no where else on the peninsula (Colfer, 2010). Between 1771-74 the Revenue Commissioners granted use of the smaller pier to the Coast Guard and a watch house was built on this pier (partially extant until 2007) for their sole use (Admiralty, 1911; Admiralty, 1914). Additional private warehousing was also built adjacent to this quay by the Lynn family before 1798. A gun battle between Irish Rebels and the British Navy during the Rebellion of 1798 resulted in the loss of 13 fishing vessels and extensive damage to the warehousing that was never to be repaired. The watch house also sustained damage and was repaired by the Commissioners in 1799 (Irish, 1799), as well as minor repairs being made to the quays the following year (Irish, 1800), which may have included raising the parapet on the west quay. Additional minor repairs were undertaken on the harbour in the 1840s as part of the Famine Relief programme by the contractor Pat Maher under the direction of Barry Gibbons, engineer (Office of Public Works, 1846-83). In 1856 the Commissioners granted full ownership of the small pier and watch house to the Admiralty for use by the Coast Guard (UK Admiralty, 1914). It is unclear when the Commissioners of Revenue relinquished ownership of the main pier, but following the 1898 act establishing local county councils, this pier was in the ownership of Wexford County Council. The Admiralty retained ownership of the west pier and watch house until the early twentieth century when an outbreak of scarletina fever among the coast guard staff resulted in the closing of the station and the selling of the pier and watch house to Wexford County Council in 1914 for a nominal sum of £5 (UK Admiralty, 1914). The watch house was altered in 1978 by Wexford County Council (Wexford, 1978) to allow access to the small pier, and a further addition of a broad stairway, constructed on concrete block and concrete steps, at the back of the harbour followed in 1988 (Wexford, 1988). The remainder of the watch house was removed in 2007 (Lambe, 2016). Repairs using concrete to the seaward face of the L-shaped pier were also made in the late 20th century following storm damage (Wexford, 1990).
Site information
Alternative Names: Fethard Quay, Fethard Dock, referred to historically as Ingard, Inyard, Feathard, Fytheird, Fetherd, Federt, Fytherd.
Site information
County: Wexford.
Site information
Irish National Grid Coordinates: 280563, 105152.
Site information
National Monuments Service/National Inventory of Architectural Heritage reference: 15619016.
Site information
Geomorphological: Sandy cliff.
Site information
Date of Construction: 1741.
Site information
Form: Pier, quay, groyne, two slips.
Site information
Builder: Nicholas Loftus [1741]; Pat Maher [1849 repairs].
Site information
Engineer: Barry Gibbons [1849 repairs].
Site information
Ownership: Pier: Revenue Commissioners [1741-c.1898]; Wexford County Council [1898 – present]. Groyne: Revenue Commissioners [1741 – 1856]; UK Admiralty [1856 – 1908]; Wexford County Council [1908 – present].
Site information
Building Material: Principally limestone with some old red sandstone, semi-coursed, occasionally squared in places particularly around the pier heads and within the inner harbour. Repair work to storm damage on pier undertaken in reinforced concrete in 20th century.
Harbours, Ireland, Maritime, Engineering, Heritage at Risk, LiDAR, Transportable Data, Fethard, Ingard, Inyard, Feathard, Fytheird, Fetherd, Federt, Fytherd, Wexford, 18th century, Nicholas Loftus, Pat Maher, Barry Gibbons, Revenue Commissioners, Wexford County Council, Revenue Commissioners, UK Admiralty, Wexford County Council, limestone, old red sandstone.
Map centre point
52.19277002,-6.822623974 (WGS84 (EPSG:4326))
Map bounding box
southlimit=52.192234; westlimit=-6.823456; northlimit=52.193195 ; eastlimit=-6.821455 (WGS84 (EPSG:4326))
Remote sensing image Photographs   linked data (gmgpc) Dataset   linked data (dct)
Fethard Harbour (Ireland)
Hydraulic engineering--Ireland
Hydraulic structures--Protection--Ireland
Historic sites--Ireland
Optical radar
Ireland--Remote-sensing images
Harbors--Ireland--Wexford (County)
Building material
Rough blockwork (dry stone)
Building material
Poorly coursed rubble
Building material
Reinforced concrete cast-in-situ
Intermittent rocky foreshore
Stone type
Stone type
Old red sandstone
University College Dublin, School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy. Elizabeth Shotton . MHI/FETHARD
Suggested credit
"Fethard Harbour, County Wexford (Minor Harbours of Ireland)," held by Elizabeth Shotton. © University College Dublin; and Elizabeth Shotton. Digital content by University College Dublin; and Elizabeth Shotton, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin <>
Funder: Irish Research Council ; funder identifier: ; award number: R15353.

Part of
Minor Harbours of Ireland (2019-02-19) (2015) –
Record source
Descriptions created by staff of UCD Library, University College Dublin based on information provided by the Minor Harbours project team. — Metadata creation date: 2017-11-29

Rights & Usage Conditions

Creative Commons License
Fethard Harbour, County Wexford (Minor Harbours of Ireland) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright of the original resource: University College Dublin; and Elizabeth Shotton

To use for commercial purposes, please contact the UCD Digital Library See: