Bannow and Wexford Harbour

J. Stirling Coyne & N. P. Willis
c. 1841
Volume I, Chapter IV-17 | Start of chapter

The coast eastward from Bannow is low and flat, presenting few features of pictorial interest until we reach the Tuskar Light-house, built on a small island-rock, lying off Carnsore Point, which forms the south-eastern angle of Ireland From this point the shore bends suddenly northward, and we soon enter the picturesque Harbour of Wexford, through a narrow inlet. "It is formed," says Mr. Hay, "by two narrow necks of land bending towards each other, like two arms closing after an extension from the body, which appearance the river's mouth assumes by its banks, not very unlike the old Piraeus of Athens. The extremities of these peninsulas, denominated the Raven on the north and Roslare on the south, form the entrance into the harbour, which is about a mile and a half broad, defended by a fort at the point of Roslare."

The bay into which the river Slaney discharges itself is spacious, and well defended from the sea; but the obstruction of a bar of shifting sand near the entrance, and the shallowness of the water in the harbour, which will not allow vessels of more than two hundred tons burthen to enter it, has considerably lessened the advantages which it would otherwise have derived from its excellent situation in a commercial point of view. The town of Wexford is of great antiquity, and was founded at an early period by the Danish settlers in Ireland; and that it was long the emporium of the south-eastern portion of the country, and the principal port of passage between England and Ireland, there are abundant evidences to prove. The town was anciently surrounded by walls, some traces of which are still discernible: but a large part of the modern town lies outside of the former mural lines of defence.