The Shared Stories of North Pembrokeshire and North County Wexford

Shared Stories Introduction

This document aims to highlight some of the wealth of historical stories, archaeology and folklore that connects the north-west Pembrokeshire coast in Wales, with north Co. Wexford in Ireland, with a particular focus on the communities of St Davids, Fishguard, Goodwick, Ferns, Enniscorthy and Gorey. Even on the surface, these communities have much in common, being largely historically focused on the coast for their living, whether from trade or fishing, but the connections go much deeper and much further back in time.

We will discover the shared stories of north Co. Wexford and north-west Pembrokeshire and how the two regions have influenced each other through the movement of people, ideas, technology, culture, religion, and occasionally, conflict. We will examine these connections from the time of hunter-gatherers in the Mesolithic Period, passing on to the time of the first farmers in the Neolithic, the transformative arrival of metalworking in the Bronze and Iron Ages, to the time of St David and his Irish pupil St Aidan. From those early days of Christianity, we travel on to the time of castles and conquests with the Normans and their role in Pembrokeshire and Co. Wexford. We will look at later trade and commerce and explore some of the folk tales and traditions in the two regions.

These stories reveal that the Irish Sea has never been a barrier; it has always been a highway.