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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Reading of ancient poem marks Walled Towns Day

Published 03/09/2013 | 07:53

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Shem Caulfield making arrowheads at the town wall on the day.

MORE THAN 200 people visited the historic New Ross Town Wall for Walled Towns Day.

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The heritage day event saw New Ross take a step back in time, with a poem by Friar Michael 'Bernardi' of Kildare being read out by an actor.

The Walling of New Ross poem tells the story of the building of the walls of New Ross.

The walls of the town are unique in the world because of the existence of the poem, which is an original manuscript which has been authenticated and is housed by the British Museum in London, providing an eye-witness account of the New Ross of the 13th century.

An actor read the lengthy poem, which describes the town in great detail.

New Ross Town Council staff officer John Moran said: 'We tried to give a flavour of what life was like when the wall was built. The poem was originally written in ancient French by 'Bernardi'.

The poem recalls the Maiden Gate prison, which was established by the women of New Ross to incarcerate men who had committed offences against women.

'These women were hundreds of years ahead of their time,' Mr Moran said.

Mr Moran said many people came over to the wall to see workmen doing traditional tasks.

Cllr John Dwyer was one of the driving forces behind the event again this year.

New Ross Standard

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