The Irish National Heritage Park Story

Explore historic and archaeological Ireland across 40 acres of natural woodland

The Irish National Heritage Park is a unique heritage experience in Wexford, Ireland, where visitors can explore historic and archaeological Ireland through the sights, sounds and activities of life in Ancient Ireland. Located just outside Wexford Town in the cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East, the Park features reconstructions of historic sites and covers over 40 acres of natural woodland and trails in a spectacular location at the mouth of the River Slaney in picturesque Ferrycarrig, Wexford. On three special heritage tours – Pre-Historic Ireland, Early Christian Ireland and the Age of Invasion – visitors can walk in and explore traditional homes, villages, monuments, and buildings, including replicas of a crannóg, Viking town, Norman castle, high cross, portal tomb, and stone circle.

The Irish National Heritage Park story begins in 1987 when the Park was opened in Ferrycarrig, Wexford with the vision of being an open-air museum telling the story of 9000 years of Irish history. The Park was ahead of its time and unique in Ireland and Europe. Over the years, the Park has evolved to give visitors an even more immersive heritage experience with activities, traditional skills courses and workshops taking place all year round. Our famous character-led tours with costumed guides and the authentic atmosphere of the Park with sights and sounds of Ancient Ireland bring history to life for thousands of visitors each year.

The site that the Park is built upon at Ferrycarrig also has its own historical significance with the first Norman castle in Ireland and defensive ditch built on this very site in Wexford in 1169. Known as ‘Fitzstephen’s Fort’, today visitors can see the remains of the over 800 year old castle currently being excavated as part of the Carrig Project. Where the castle once stood on a hill in the Park overlooking the Slaney Estuary, now stands a round tower built in 1858 to commemorate Wexford people who died in the Crimean War.

The Park now welcomes over 70,000 visitors a year from Ireland, Europe, and the rest of the world. It is a not for profit organisation with all receipts from admissions, shop and restaurant going directly to the running of the Park.