Vinegar Hill

In Wexford county we settled in the tiny city of Enniscorthy. Although small, there is a lot in Enniscorthy worth seeing and its size makes everything accessible by foot. We were able to enjoy the sunny days that are atypical of Ireland’s climate. Firstly, we walked from our hotel by the Slaney to Enniscorthy Castle.

The Slaney river.

The Slaney river.

Dating back to 1190, the castle has had a sundry of unique individuals pass through. The first evidence we saw of this was in the dungeon of the castle.

The art on the dungeon walls.

The art on the dungeon walls.

In a small room, that was used by modern residents as a boiler room, we saw the dwellings of the past prisoners. One of these unfortunate detainees had used his time in his prison to express himself artistically. We saw the preserved etchings of this prisoner on the walls of the dungeon.

A room with old furniture in the castle.

A room with old furniture in the castle.

The rest of the castle was filled with the souvenirs of the its history. Furniture from the most recent residents of the castle remained. There was also an exhibition featuring articles from the Irish Rebellion of 1798. During this time the Enniscorthy castle witnessed several battles and was even used as a prison.

A bronze copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

A bronze copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

From the roof of the castle we could see the site in Enniscorthy that is most associated with the rebellion. Vinegar Hill was the location of a battle between the Irish and British.

The view of Vinegar Hill from the castle.

The view of Vinegar Hill from the castle.

As we learned later in the National 1798 Rebellion Center, the name of the hill was the result of the improper pronunciation by the English of the Irish name Chnoc Fidoh na gCaor. We were very impressed with the exhibits in the center.

The exhibit in center describing the battles between the Irish and the British as a chess match.

The exhibit in the center describing the battles between the Irish and the British as a chess match.

Through audio-visual re-enactments we saw a very effective portrayal of the largest rebellion in Irish history.

Meadhbh in the Rebellion Centre.

Meadhbh in the Rebellion Centre.

Once we had thoroughly surveyed the center we journeyed up to the hill itself. We climbed up the hill that over fifteen thousand soldiers had once climbed in pursuit of the Irish.

Vinegar Hill

Vinegar Hill

At the top, we stood on the site where over a thousand Irishmen were murdered. The British military did not spare children or women and tortured many of their victims.

The view from the Vinegar Hill.

The view from the Vinegar Hill.

Fortunately, a large group of Irishmen managed to escape toward the Wicklow mountains that could be seen from our vantage point on Vinegar Hill.

 – Siobhan