Download GPX file for this article
52.465-7.696Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Not to be confused with Fethard-on-Sea in County Wexford.

Fethard (Fiodh Ard, meaning "high wood") is a small town in County Tipperary, with a population in 2016 of 1545. It was settled by the Normans from 1201, and ringed by defensive walls from the 13th century. The town's medieval buildings are the main reason to visit.

Fethard Town Wall and Holy Trinity Church

Get in[edit]

Kavanagh's Bus 393 / 396 runs thrice M-Sa from Clonmel to Fethard, 20 min. It continues north for another 75 min through the back lanes to Thurles, which is on the Dublin-Cork main railway line.

And that's all; there's no bus from nearby Cashel or Cahir. You need your own wheels.

Get around[edit]

Walk, the town is compact.

See[edit]

  • 1 Holy Trinity Church, Main St, Fethard. Anglican C of I church mostly from 13th century, with ruined chapel and sacristry adjacent. The graveyard stretches down to a length of medieval town wall. The place is often locked, ask around for keys. Free.
  • 2 Augustinian Friary, Abbey St, Fethard. 14th C friary, now an RC church. It has medieval stain glass windows, and a Sheila-na-gig frowsing from the east wall. Free.
  • Fethard Horse Country Experience, The Tholsel, Main St, Fethard. Tu-Sa 10:00-16:00. Small museum illustrates horses and horse-rearing in this region. Adult €7.50, child €3.50, conc €6.50.
  • Town walls were built in the 13th century. Those northside are mostly lost, although the north gate survives on Rocklow St. The best preserved stretch is south side, facing R706 An Gleann ("The Valley"). By Watergate is a huddle of ruined 17th C tower houses, and a Sheila-na-gig set into the wall.
  • 3 Cramps Castle is just one sorry stump, 1 km east of town.
  • 4 Lisronagh Castle is the shell of a 16th century tower house along the road from Clonmel.
  • 5 Slievenamon is the 721 m mountain to the east. There are four prehistoric cairns around its summit, and many legends of the Otherworld beings that issue from those portals.

Do[edit]

  • Abymill Theatre is in a restored mill next to the abbey. No performances are scheduled in 2020.
  • See Cashel for Tipperary Raceway, midway between the towns.
  • Slievenamon Golf Club is 5 km south of town at Lisronagh. White tees 4717 m (5082 yards), par 70.

Buy[edit]

  • Centra convenience store is northeast end of Main St, open daily 07:00-21:00.
  • The car boot sale and collector's market is held on Sunday 10:45-15:30, 500 m northwest of town along R692 the Cashel Road. It's on the site of the former Fethard Folk Museum, which has closed.

Eat[edit]

  • Dooks Fine Foods, Kerry St, Fethard, +353 52 613 0828. Tu-F 07:30-17:00, Sa 09:00-17:00, Su 09:00-15:00. Deli with cafe, grand spot for breakfast or lunch.
  • Emily's Delicatessen and Tea Room, Burke St, Fethard. M-Sa 10:00-14:00. Pleasant lunch and breakfast spot, cash only.

Drink[edit]

Fethard's 17th century Town Hall
  • McCarthy's Pub, Restaurant and Undertaker (not necessarily in that order), 17 Main St, Fethard, +353 52 613 1149. Su-Th 12:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-00:30. This legendary all-purpose institution was founded in the 1850s. It's obviously handy for wakes but you don't have to be recently deceased to enjoy eating and drinking here. But they've focused a bit and no longer operate as a hotel, draper, grocer, spirit merchant, glass & porcelain shop and hackney horse hire. Pubs-cum-undertakers became common in Ireland at the Famine, when the law required bodies to be brought to the nearest pub until an inquest could be held: the pub had cold storage, and premises for a wake. That law was only repealed in 1962, and acting as a mortician was also a fast-track to gaining a publican's license. The combination declined as separate funeral directors developed. It's reckoned some 80 pubs across Ireland still act as undertakers, but none are as cheek-by-jowl as McCarthy's
  • Bridge Bar, Butler's, Village Inn and Lonergans are the other pubs along Main St. Castle Inn on Watergate has closed down.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Cozie B&B, Rosegreen Rd, Fethard, +353 52 613 2276. Friendly well-run B&B, no dogs. They also have a self-catering townhouse on Main St, four bedrooms, sleeps 10. B&B double €90.
  • 2 Clonacody House, Fairfields, Clonacody, +353 87 168 9167. The house can be hired self-catering, B&B or fully catered, eg for weddings.

Connect[edit]

As of Dec 2020, in town there is 4G coverage by Eir, 5G by Three, and nothing by Vodafone. Along the roads around town it's mostly dead.

Go next[edit]

  • Cashel to the north is a must-see for the Rock and nearby religious sites.
  • Waterford is an interesting port with a mix of old and new.
  • Tipperary is a pleasant market town with a famous name but that's about all. Keep heading west towards Limerick, a lively miniature Dublin.
This city travel guide to Fethard is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.