Ros Mhic Treoin, or the Wood of the Son of Treoin.

Welcome to New Ross, a town steeped in history and heritage

Our town has played a key part in Irish history from the days when the Fianna, the heroes of Celtic mythology availed of the bountiful hunting in the woods of the son of Treon, Ros Mhic Treoin. Our early Christian saints St Abban and St Evin established a monastery and church on the banks of the Barrow.

The Norman era saw the arrival of “The Greatest Knight” William Marshal. Under the guidance of The Marshal and his wife Isabel the thriving port was established. The town and port is watched over to this day by their medieval St. Mary’s Church.

International trading links resulted in French, Italian and Spanish being as commonly spoken on our Quays as Irish and English. Merchant bankers from Bayonne and Florence had establishments in the town.

In 1269 the inhabitants encircled the town with a defensive wall commemorated in an epic 219 verse Norman-French poem.

New Ross was laid siege to by Oliver Cromwell in 1649 but after a three-shot barrage on the Bewley Gate (now called The Three Bullet Gate) prompted negotiations, Lucas Taaffe the Confederate commander of New Ross surrendered the town to Cromwell’s superior army with no loss of life.

On 5 th June 1798 New Ross was the scene of one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles of the Rebellion. An overwhelming force of United Irishmen succeeded in driving the defending Crown Forces across the bridge but having repulsed a counter attack and due to ill-discipline and lack of leadership they failed to hold the town. Thousands died and vast tracts of the town were destroyed by fire.

The 19 th century saw New Ross merchants establish strong links with ports on the North American east coast. Savannah, Boston and Quebec, as well as Newfoundland, had links with the Graves, Howlett and Kough shipping dynasties.


While timber, tobacco, cotton and other commodities dominated the west-east trade the outbound cargo was mainly people seeking a better life in the land of the free.

Among those taking that route was one Patrick Kennedy from nearby Dungantown whose great-grandson John F Kennedy became President of the United States.

President Kennedy returned to his ancestral roots and gave a memorable address from the quay June 1963.

For more in depth information visit and take a guided walking tour of the medieval town.

Credit to: Myles Courtney of New Ross Street Focus for the information