In a two part programme, “Nationwide” explores Wexford. The Irish documentary series takes in Vinegar Hill, Oulart, Enniscorthy, Wells House, Hook and Johnstown Castle and the mini-series is now available to watch worldwide on RTÉ Player International.
In the first programme “Nationwide” visits the northern end of the county to showcase the heritage and tourist sites that attract visitors all year round, including Vinegar Hill and the battle sites associated with it, such as the Equinox site at Oulart and the historic village of Ferns. They also spend time in Enniscorthy, Wexford’s second largest town which boasts of a history stretching back to 465. Vinegar Hill overlooks the town and was the largest camp and headquarters of the rebels of 1798.
So many big estates have fallen into disrepair as a result of the vast sums of money involved in running them. Wells House was built in the late 1600s by John Warren, who owned more than 6,000 acres of land in the area. It was purchased on his death by the Doyne family who engaged renowned English architect Daniel Robertson to completely redesign the house during the 1830s. It was Robertson who designed the house standing at Wells today.
For the owners, opening their “Big House” to the public is one way of funding the upkeep of the estate but it also gives us a fascinating insight into the lives of the privileged classes. Recently Helen McInerney visited “Wells House and 450 acre estate” near Gorey in County Wexford where she heard tales of romance, intrigue, and inherited wealth.
In the second of the two programmes from County Wexford, “Nationwide” visits some of the sights in the south of Wexford. Experience the Hooked Safari and beauty of the Hook Peninsula and its environs, famous for its breathtaking views and national heritage sites, through this episode.
In addition to the thrills and spills of adventure with Sheilbaggan, “Nationwide” goes Hooked Kite Surfing and explores the exciting tourism plans for the wonderful 19th century Johnstown Castle. Designed by Daniel Roberston, famed for the gardens at Powerscourt, County Wicklow, and Wells House, the land has been occupied since the 1170s. In 1945 was presented as a gift to the nation. It is now owned and run by Teagasc, who have a research facility on the site.RTÉ Player International is available to download from the app store for free, users can access 100 hours of free content, refreshed daily and the full content offering of 500 hours can be accessed and watched free of advertising for a monthly subscription of €8.99 ($8.99/ £6.99) through the Apple Store.