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Welcome to the Irish Walled Towns Network

Working to help make walled towns better places to live, work and visit.

The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) was formed by the Heritage Council in 2005 to help the walled towns of Ireland become better places in which to live, work and visit. The island of Ireland has 56 ‘proven’ walled towns, 29 of which have joined the IWTN.

The role of the network is to unite and co-ordinate the strategic efforts of local authorities involved in the management, conservation and enhancement of historic walled towns in Ireland, both North and South, helping to make Ireland’s walled towns become great places in which to live, work and visit.

Guidance and assistance is provided to member towns by providing grants for town wall conservation and for community festivals and heritage interpretation. Training is delivered to community groups on how best to use their town’s heritage for the benefit of those who live there and we regularly research and publish user-friendly advisory documents.

The Walled Town Crier Issue 6

The October issue of the Irish Walled Towns Network e-zine is now available! In the news sections, you can read about The change of Project Manager The Conference that was held on 07th August Our featured member town in this issue is Carlingford, Co. Louth. If you...

IWTN Conference Registration now open

'Regeneration & Creating Positive Spaces for our Towns' The 2021 IWTN conference, taking place online on Thursday 7th October, will look at the processes behind and impact of heritage led regeneration in towns. Heritage buildings, street plans and archaeological...

The Walled Town Crier Issue 5

The August issue of the Irish Walled Towns Network e-zine is now available! In the news sections, you can read about News from around the network, Murals in New Ross, Another flag exchange between member towns, The upcoming IWTN conference, which is on the 07th...

IWTN Flag exchange between coastal member towns continues

  The Ilen and its crew are continuing their voyages between the IWTN coastal towns. In August they delivered an IWTN flag to Waterford from Galway, their last IWTN port of call. From there, they travelled up the River Barrow to the inland port of New Ross –with...

The Walled Town Crier Issue 4

The June issue of the Irish Walled Towns Network e-zine is now available. In the news sections, you can read about The 2021 IWTN Grants, The Ilen sailing project, Heritage Council Podcast on the IWTN, Live theatre taking place in the shadow of the town walls of...

Sharing your Walled Town Heritage

In anticipation of the world opening up to visitors, our webinar 'Sharing your walled town heritage' was designed to explore the different ways we can share and promote the stories of our walled towns. There are many ways to engage with both our communities and...

New podcast about the Irish Walled Towns Network

The Irish Walled Towns Network is the subject of the new Heritage Council podcast. In it Ian Doyle, Head of Conservation with The Heritage Council, explains the importance of scheme, and why walled towns remain an integral part of Irish life to this day. He also...

Heritage Council announces IWTN grants

  The Heritage Council have announced €299,000 for conservation work and interpretation initiatives under the Irish Walled Towns Network. This funding allows the valuable work of protecting, preserving and promoting the history and heritage of Ireland’s walled...

‘Valuing Volunteers’ training course

Volunteers are a vital element of the work carried out in IWTN member towns and at Adopt a Monuments sites– from the organising of events and fundraising to researching and getting hands dirty with more practical work. ‘Valuing Volunteers: Engaging Volunteers and...

The Walled Town Crier Issue 3

The April issue of the Irish Walled Towns Network e-zine is now available. In the news sections you can read about the Irish Architecture Foundation’s ‘Reimagine’ placemaking programme the Heritage Council’s podcast on the Historic Towns Initiative Short virtual...

Where are the IWTN towns?

Featured Towns


Trim was originally founded in the 12th century by the Anglo-Norman Lord of Meath, Hugh de Lacey and his son Walter de Lacey. They constructed the largest castle in Ireland as their seat of power and a town quickly developed. The town required defences and between 1289-1290 Trim received a murage grant to build stone walls. These walls were needed to protect Trim’s inhabitants from attack, especially when the Lord and his soldiers were absent. When completed, Trim's stone walls enclosed an area of 23 hectares. There were six gates leading into the fortified town, Dublin Gate, Navan Gate, Water Gate, Sheep Gate, Bridge Gate and Athboy Gate. There was a natural fosse (the River Boyne) but not ramparts.

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Limerick was founded by the Vikings in the 10th century. They created an early form of walling to protect the town's inhabitants but this was defeated by the Gaelic Dal gCais family of County Clare and then by the Anglo-Normans who took the town in the 12th century. The Anglo-Normans stayed in Limerick for two years, before leaving and then returning again for good in 1195.

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Fethard has the most complete medieval town wall in Ireland with over 90% of the original 1,125m stone wall surviving. The town walls date from 1292 when King Edward I of England gave a murage grant towards the enclosure of the town and the protection of its citizens. This was continued by further murage grants in the 14th and 15th centuries.

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Did you know?

Sir Ernest Shackleton the famous Antarctic explorer was from the walled town of Athy, Co. Kildare.

In 1221, Dublin became the first town in Ireland to receive a ‘murage grant’ (money from the King to build town walls)

Sir Walter Raleigh was a famous resident of the walled town of Youghal He was beheaded in England & It Is said that afterwards his wife carried around his severed head in a velvet bag!

When the walls of Kells, Co. Meath were repaired in the 1400s, the townspeople were forced to pay for the work, causing many residents to leave the town!

Derry/ Londonderry’s walls have never been breached (broken into by an invading army!) It is the only walled town to have survived all attacks & is nicknamed the ‘Maiden City’ because of it!

The walled town of Carrickfergus Co.Antrim was the landing place of William of Orange who fought at the Battle of the
Boyne against his father-in-law & became King of England in 1689.

At one stage, Cork City was a monastic settlement, a Viking longphort & an Anglo-Norman town!

Drogheda was originally two walled towns on either side of the River Boyne that became one walled town.