The Irish National Heritage Center is located just outside Wexford. If you want a good history lesson on the Ireland, especially ancient to medieval times, this is for you. Set on numerous acres, you may walk through with a self guided tour or go with the tour guide. Plan on a couple of hours for the tour, but it is worth it! I would also take advantage of the tour guide. We had an archeology Master’s student … He did a great job!
While all of the areas are replicas, it does provide a small glimpse into how people lived during different eras. There are about 12-15 different ‘sites’ … Here are just a few below.
If you want to better understand the sheer determination of an Irish emigrant, I would suggest a stop to see the Dunbrody. It will give you an opportunity to stand below deck of a ship that transported many of our Irish ancestors to North America.
The Dunbrody is located in New Ross, Ireland, and is a replica of the original Dunbrody ship. The original Dunbrody (176′) was built in 1845 and its main purpose was to transport cargo between Ireland and Canada. However, with the onset of the Great Famine she carried passengers throughout the mid-to-late 1840’s. During a ‘normal’ voyage, the passenger count was 176. But during the famine’s peak, she carried more than 300. On average 30% to 50% of passengers died on these ships … Hence the nickname of “coffin ships.”
The tour, which starts with a video, provides a slight glimpse into a six week ocean voyager that included harsh weather, seas, and for many, starvation.