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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, 30 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 12

The October Issue of the Walled Town Crier is now available! In this issue, we're getting to know Clonmel, checking in on Halloween in Derry and paying a flying visit to Carrick-on-Suir. We've also got details of the upcoming IWTN annual conference, which will take...

The Walled Town Crier Issue 11

The August Issue of the Walled Town Crier is now available! National Heritage Week is just around the corner (13-21 August). We've rounded up just some of the many wonderful events planned for our member towns. In our recurring "Getting to Know" feature, we're off to...

The Walled Town Crier Issue 10

Summer is here and with it comes the June 2022 edition of the IWTN Walled Towns Crier! This is the 10th edition of our ezine. In this edition we continue our "Getting to Know" series by visiting Cashel. We also have information of some of the events taking place...

The Walled Town Crier Issue 9

The April Issue of the Walled Town Crier is now available! In our recurring "Getting to Know" feature, we take a look at Carrick on Suir. We warmly welcome our a new IWTN member town. Lastly, but by no means least, we learn about some of the updates from our member...

The Walled Town Crier Issue 8

The February Issue of the Walled Town Crier is now available! In this issue we return to our "Getting to Know" series, taking a look at Carrickfergus. We welcome our new Management Committee members, and bid a fond farewell to our outgoing members with heartfelt...

The Walled Town Crier Issue 7

The December issue of the Irish Walled Towns Network e-zine is now available! In this issue we take a look back over 2021. Though not without its challenges, this year has seen a number of towns take inventive approaches to events and interpretation. Some important...

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...

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...

Where are the IWTN towns?

Featured Towns

Trim

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

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

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.