Goat Hill built in 1265, is the longest remaining section of the 1700 metre 13th century New Ross Town Wall. The historic medieval town of New Ross was founded by William Marshall (known as the Greatest Knight) and his wife Isabel De Clare (daughter of Strongbow and Aoife whose father was Diarmuid MacMurrough, King of Leinster). The illustrious founders embarked on a major building project in the area including the Town Wall which was for defence purposes, and which extended in a senior circle around the town for 1700m enclosing approx. 105 acres – an area larger then contemporary Dublin. Customs records show that at one point in the 13th century, New Ross was the busiest port in Ireland. Goat Hill was closed to the public since 2009 but has now been regenerated and reopened. This was allowed by the replacement of the 144 steps, provision of heritage style lighting, beautiful bespoke archways and signage, paving, handrails, flagpoles and historical plaques. And did you know: New Town Wall construction commenced in 1265, the same year as the brewing of Budweiser beer began in Bohemia and the year of the first known reference to the papal ring – thereafter used to seal all personal correspondence from all the subsequent Popes and the same year that a royal promise to respect Magna Carta was extracted by force from King Henry III! The unique 220-line 13th century poem, the Walling of New Ross, the original of which is housed in the British Museum in London, describes New Ross town as ‘The finest of its size I know in any country’.
Finally, the number of steps you must travel from top to bottom of Goat Hill is exactly 144 and one journey up and down the steps will burn approx. 30 calories! The Famous Spanish Steps in Rome only has 135 steps!