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New Ross

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Overview





New Ross is situated nearly twenty miles inland from the Waterford Harbour entrance on the southeast coast of Ireland. Located on the east side of the River Barrow it is a thriving market town and harbour that caters for visitors in a marina just south of the town quays.

Benefiting from an inland location a vessel will find complete protection from all conditions here. High air clearance vessels will require the opening of a railway bridge by request to access the River Barrow. The wide, unhindered and well-marked Waterford Harbour estuary provides safe access, night or day and at any stage of the tide.
Please note

Tidal streams are a prime consideration within Waterford Harbour; a strong adverse current will make for slow progress, conversely, a favourable passage current will make the estuary quickly traversable.




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Keyfacts for New Ross
 +353 86 3889652      newrossmarina@wexfordcoco.ie      Ch.14
Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.


Considerations
Restriction: access requires lifting or swing bridge to openNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterwaysNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Now Force

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with straightforward access.

LWS draught

2 metres (6.56 feet).

Today's tide estimates

LW 04:09 (0.7m) HW 07:11 (4.4m)
LW 14:04 (0.6m) HW 19:17 (4.5m)
We are now on Springs

Swell today




Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.


Considerations
Restriction: access requires lifting or swing bridge to openNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterwaysNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 23.481' N, 006° 57.117' W

On the end of the south western most pontoon in the marina.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in the westbound Route location or eastbound Route location sequenced 'Rosslare to Cork' coastal description. Seaward approaches along with the run up the river are covered in the Port of Waterford Click to view haven entry.


Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to New Ross for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Cheekpoint - 4.5 miles SSW
  2. Buttermilk Point - 4.9 miles S
  3. Seedes Bank - 5.2 miles S
  4. Ballyhack - 5.5 miles S
  5. Arthurstown - 5.6 miles S
  6. Passage East - 5.6 miles S
  7. Little Island - 5.9 miles SSW
  8. Port of Waterford - 6 miles SW
  9. Duncannon - 6.3 miles S
  10. Dollar Bay - 7.4 miles S
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Cheekpoint - 4.5 miles SSW
  2. Buttermilk Point - 4.9 miles S
  3. Seedes Bank - 5.2 miles S
  4. Ballyhack - 5.5 miles S
  5. Arthurstown - 5.6 miles S
  6. Passage East - 5.6 miles S
  7. Little Island - 5.9 miles SSW
  8. Port of Waterford - 6 miles SW
  9. Duncannon - 6.3 miles S
  10. Dollar Bay - 7.4 miles S
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


How to get in?
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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New Ross is situated nearly twenty miles inland from the Waterford Harbour entrance and on the east side of the River Barrow nine miles above its entrance. It is the third-largest town in the county of Wexford, after Wexford and Enniscorthy, and a commercial port. It receives its visitors in a marina below the town quays.

Convergance Point Use the Port of Waterford Click to view haven for details of seaward approaches, entry to Waterford Harbour and the run up the estuary.

Initial fix location From the initial fix, set in the middle of the entrance, head northeast for the ‘Waterford’ port marker buoy and then pick up the No. 1 and 2 buoys of the fairway. From there follow the Port of Waterford directions up to Cheekpoint located ten miles above Hook Point at the confluence of the Suir and Barrow Rivers.

Approaching Cheekpoint, the confluence of the rivers Suir and Barrow, Kilmokea Power Station and the 14 span Barrow railway swing bridge appears to the north. Access to the River Barrow, that takes a vessel 9 miles upriver to New Ross, requires a passage underneath the Barrow Bridge.



This is a relatively high steel railway bridge enabling moderately high craft, under 6 metres at HWS or 10 metres LWN, to pass unhindered beneath it when closed. Anything higher will require the bridge to be opened and as it is manned it may be opened upon request. Phone the bridge staff on M: +353 086 816 7826, (alternatively P: +353 51 388137) at least an hour prior to the planned passage and notify them of the expected time of transit. A second call is often suggested when the vessel is 15 - 20 minutes off. VHF watch is only maintained when vessels are expected.



As the currents are strong here, it is important to line up early for the correct arch and the bridge swivels from a control section that is the third section from the western side. This is made readily apparent by its high control room set on the top of the turning section.



When the bridge opens pass through as directed by the signage. There is a separate arch for upstream and downstream traffic that pass either side of the central swivel column; pass to port in both cases. As large ships use the facility the correct opening is clearly marked and wide.
Please note

Do call in advance and a subsequent courtesy call of thanks puts sailors in good standing.





From the bridge it is simply a matter of following the buoyed shipping channel up to New Ross a distance of nine miles up the River Barrow. The marks commence immediately upriver of the bridge and continue as far as Marshmeadows Oil Jetty situated half a mile downriver of the town and marina. The buoys have some distance between them at times where it is best practice to keep to the outside of the rivers bends.

A least depth of 2.7 metres will be found all the way to the Oil Jetty with a least depth of 2 metres in the path from there to the marina.
Please note

The trek to New Ross is tidal all the way and the assistance of a favourable tide would be highly beneficial. A helmsman should be prepared to meet large commercial ships at any turn of the river.





Immediately above the bridge the deep water channel runs close along the western shore, following the marks the first leg takes a vessel up to Ferry Point. Four parallel overhead power cables with a clearance of 40 metres cross the river immediately south of Ferry Point.



The course through the next reach is northeast by east for a mile and a half to Dollar Point. Here the river expands and becomes very shallow at points so it is important to adhere to the channel marks.



Between Dollar Point and Black Rock the deep water channel runs close along the eastern shore, with the opposite shore encircled by the Rochestown Spit which is a sand bank that dries half-way across the river.

A little above Black Rock there is a convenient anchorage in Kearney Bay. In the past sailing vessels discharged part of their cargoes here before proceeding to New Ross.



Two miles above at Stokestown Point the river bends suddenly to southeast by east for three quarters of a mile, with the deep water in the middle. Rounding Marsh Point, where Annaghs Castle will be seen near a port mark, the river then resumes its north easterly direction where there is no danger in a mid-channel course as far as Marshmeadows Oil Jetty.



The western side will provide the best water to the marina. The harbour consists of quays on both sides of the River extending about half a mile downstream from the road bridge.


Haven location The New Ross Three Sisters Marina is south of the town. It is operated by Wexford County Council and although not continually staffed it is accessible 24 hours a day. Although it is a small marina a berth will normally be found for visitors on the outer hammerheads. Notices on the berthing charges and instructions regarding access to the shower and toilet facilities are posted there. There is no VHF watch, and the marina manager will provide berthing instructions over the phone.



As it's a long 4 hour trek from the open sea to New Ross from the entrance to the harbour it would be prudent to contact the marina manager, Aidan Bates, in advance to make berthing arrangements. During working hours contact Manager M: +353 86 3889652 or E: newrossmarina@wexfordcoco.ie.
Please note

There are no designated anchorages at New Ross.




What's the story here?
New Ross derives its name from the Irish name Ros Mhic Thriúin, meaning the Wood of the Son of Treon. Standing on a steep hill on the River Barrow’s eastern bank New Ross could never be described as an elegant town; but it is an excellent boating location that has featured prominently in the history of Ireland.

The earliest settlement here dates back to the 4th century when St. Abban of Magheranoidhe (circa 570-16 March 620) founded a monastery here. St. Abban was the son of Cormac, King of Leinster, and a nephew of Wexford’s apostle of St. Ibar who was a predecessor and contemporary of St. Patrick. St. Abban founded numerous churches in Wexford with his principal monastery at Magheranoidhe, subsequently known as Abbanstown; today Adamstown. The New Ross monastery flourished and afterwards became a famous scholastic establishment. The original earthen banked circular enclosure of the monastery was visible in the towns Irishtown graveyard until recent developments covered it. Outside of the writings of St. Abban little is known of the town’s pre-Norman times.

The Normans transformed New Ross and it was the first Irish town they developed after their successful conquest of the nation. The present town was founded between 1192 and 1207 by the Earl of Pembroke and Seneschal of Leinster, Sir William Marshal (c. 1147 - 14 May 1219) at the behest of his wife Isabella (c.1172 - 1220).

William Marshal was an Anglo-Norman soldier and statesman who served four kings in his time, Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, John, and Henry III. William joined the court of King Henry II in 1185 and served as a loyal captain through the many difficulties of Henry’s final years. In return for legendary loyalty and military accomplishments Henry promised Marshal the hand and estates of Isabel de Clare but he died before it was carried out. The new King Richard I was not foolish enough to exclude a powerful military man; especially not whilst intending to go on Crusade. He confirmed the offer and so in August 1189 Marshal, at the age of 43, married the 17-year-old Isabel de Clare. Isabel was the daughter of the Norman leader of Ireland’s conquest Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow, and Aoife who was the daughter Diarmait MacMurrough the deposed and then later reinstated Norman King of Leinster. The marriage gave Marshal the title of "1st Earl of Pembroke" providing him with large estates that included claims in England, Wales, and Normandy as well as Ireland. Therein the landless knight from a minor family was transformed into one of the richest men in the kingdom who held great power and prestige at court.

The town was intended to serve as a port for Marshall’s lands of the Barrow, Nore and Suir valleys. Its development centred on the river Barrow crossing being at a key point just two miles below the junction of the Barrow with the Nore. This crossing point was initially a loose pontoon erected to ferry people and goods that quickly became an important axis between the important towns of Wexford and Waterford. The town was granted a Royal Charter in 1207 and by 1210 William Marshall had built a fine wooden bridge across the river that was regarded as one of the wonders of the time. Over the years, seven bridges have spanned the river Barrow to connect the port of New Ross with Rosbercon on the western shore. At various stages through the centuries, the bridges collapsed due to neglect or were destroyed by armies, were rebuilt or had a ferry service maintaining military and economic ties. The early names of the town included Nova Villa Pontis, that then became known as Ros ponte, and subsequently in the thirteenth century it took on its modern name of New Ross; the town of the new bridge, to distinguish it from Old Ross situated five miles to the east.

By the first half of the thirteenth century New Ross had also established itself as a successful port. With his connections at court, Marshall gained port concessions from King John in 1215 which were again renewed after his death in 1227. These were later revoked by Henry III and Edward I to protect the port of Waterford. But even with these handicaps 13th century customs returns indicate that New Ross was Ireland's busiest port and French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian were spoken almost as commonly on the streets of the town as English and Irish.

Restrictions were lifted in the 14th century by Edward II and Edward III and the town prospered and expanded with an influx of merchants, pirates, tradesmen, religious orders, and merchant bankers. In 1265 these denizens found it necessary to build town walls to protect themselves from local Gaelic chieftains, particularly the McMurrough-Kavanaghs, and feuding Norman families. The building of the wall, including towers and gates, was a community effort and despite these efforts the town was forced to pay for “protection”.

The defences were called into play during the 1640s Irish Confederate Wars, also known as The Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The town was defended by Kilkenny Confederacy troops under Thomas Preston, 1st Viscount Tara, and the walls resisted the March 1643 siege by James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde. The fighting to take the town was fierce, with the defenders inflicting substantial casualties on the besiegers. Having had to lift the siege, Ormonde attempted to return to Dublin via the northwest Blackstairs Mountains, where he was foolishly intercepted by Preston seeking to further his advantage. Preston’s forces vastly outnumbered Ormonde’s but Ormonde had six cannons that destroyed the Confederates at the ‘Battle of Ballinvegga’, that became know as the ‘First Battle of New Ross’ in the advent of the later notorious 1798 Battle of New Ross. Ormonde observed the devastation inflicted by his artillery: what Godlie men and horses lay there all torn, and their gutts lying on the ground, arms cast away and strewed over the fields. By contrast Ormonde lost as few as ten soldiers in the fighting. In 1649 the walls of New Ross were not used to defend against Oliver Cromwell during his vicious conquest of Ireland. Fresh from capturing Wexford Town, and slaughtering many of its inhabitants, he discharged three cannon shots at the Aldgate entrance; since then known as the ‘Three Bullet Gate’. New Ross wisely surrendered, and the garrison under Lucas Taffe was allowed to leave unharmed.

The legendary 'Battle of New Ross' was fought more than 150 years later, when the United Irishmen tried to take the town in one of the bloodiest and most notorious battles of the 1798 Rebellion. The attack, was an attempt by the recently victorious rebels to break out of county Wexford across the river Barrow and to spread the rebellion into county Kilkenny and the outlying province of Munster. At sunrise on June 5th 10,000 poorly armed rebels, massed outside the town. The leader, Bagenal Harvey, attempted to negotiate the surrender of the British garrison of 2,000 regular soldiers, militia and yeomanry who had well prepared defences both outside and inside the town. However the rebel emissary was shot down by Crown outposts whilst bearing a flag of truce. This provoked a furious charge of an advance guard of 500 rebels who drove a herd of cattle through the ‘Three Bullet Gate’. Another rebel column attacked the Priory Gate and a diversionary cavalry charge from the Market Gate was broken with massed pikes from the greater body of the Rebel forces. Then the rebels broke through the Market Gate and charged down the steeply sloping streets. Despite strong resistance of the well-armed defending soldiers and horrific rebel casualties, largely by weight of numbers, they managed to seize two-thirds of the town.

However, the British soldiers managed to hold out, and following the arrival of reinforcements, launched a series of counter-attacks. The well-armed soldiers then succeeded in driving away the exhausted pike-wielding rebels to fully recapture the town. No effort to pursue the withdrawing rebels was made. When the town was fully secured an atrocious massacre of prisoners, trapped rebels and civilians of both sympathies alike, began and continued for days. Some hundreds were burned alive when casualty stations were torched by the victorious troops; the screams of the burning injured could be heard all around the town. An entry in the Augustinian Friary’s church Mass Book for 5 June 1798 reads “Hodie hostis rebellis repulsa est ab obsidione oppidi cum magna caede, puta 3000 “, “today, the rebel enemy was driven back from the assault of the town with great slaughter [carnage], estimated at 3,000″. Casualties in the Battle of New Ross are estimated at 2,800 to 3,000 Rebels and 200 Garrison dead. The vast majority of the casualties being killed in the aftermath rather than during the actual storming of the town.



The 18th and 19th centuries were prosperous times for New Ross with the colonisation of North America. Local merchants sailed their own ships back and forth to the colonies often carrying Irish emigrants. Thousands of people left the quayside over the years to start new lives in Britain, America, Newfoundland, Canada and Australia. The most famous emigrants were Patrick Kennedy and Bridget Murphy, great-grandparents of John F. Kennedy, President of the United States. President Kennedy returned to visit his ancestral home in June 1963.

Today a replica of one of those ships, the Dunbrody, is now berthed on the New Ross quay just a few minutes stroll from the marina with a visitor centre alongside. It offers an insight into life as a passenger during the late 19th century. The vessel is an accurate, full size, ocean-going recreation of the actual timber-built ship, which played a leading part in the 19th century emigration to the USA. Narrated tours bring alive the history and conditions endured during the turbulent famine period. It is also the centre of a major national festival, held on the 3rd weekend in July each year, called the ‘JFK Dunbrody Festival’ that celebrates the famine ship and attracts crowds in excess of 25,000.

New Ross is now a thriving market and commercial town with the larger portion of the town connected with the smaller, named Rosbercon, on the west bank by O'Hanrahan Bridge - named after Michael O'Hanrahan the freedom fighter executed in 1916 who was born in New Ross. Although it is over 30km from the sea, the Port of New Ross continues to be a commercial port capable of handling container or bulk cargoes and is today Ireland's only inland port. As a mark of this seagoing legacy it has a marina and boat yard just downstream of the town that makes it an interesting destination for cruising vessels. But New Ross has many attractions apart from the excellent boating facilities and provisioning capabilities.

The River Barrow is considered one of Ireland's most scenic and picturesque inland waterways. At 192 kilometres, it is the second longest river in Ireland after the River Shannon, and is particularly beautiful. There are extensive dyke and drainage systems along the river that both improve navigation and protect the adjacent agricultural lands from flooding. At times they provide an impression of elevation making it feel as if the river is higher than the adjacent farmlands. Several ruins of lime-kilns and old tower houses will also be passed along the river making it an interesting trek. Taking a vessel deep inland, through some of Ireland’s most scenic countryside, the trip up the Barrow is a pleasure.

The nearby Kennedy Homestead, birthplace of JFK’s great grandfather is a must visit. This park celebrates the story of five generations of the Kennedy dynasty and it is a place of great natural beauty and serenity. The Kennedy homestead is 6km from the marina so transport will be required to get there. Likewise J.F. Kennedy Arboretum is on the hill Slieve Coilte overlooking the homestead and the river Barrow, about 12 km from the marina, and should not be missed if visiting the area.

On the quay the ‘Ros Tapestry’ is a must see national treasure. Sixteen years in the making it is a series of tapestries depicting the Norman experience and the consequential development of New Ross as a port. St Mary’s Abbey, located in Church Lane and credited to William Marshall and his wife Isabella, is also a recommended visit. It dates from between 1207 and 1220. The ruins are reasonably well preserved and contain some very interesting medieval tombs and plaques.

Low air draught vessels may continue upriver from New Ross to enter the inland waterways. They enable a vessel to cruise a network of canals and rivers that will take it as far as Dublin in the east, Limerick in the west or Enniskillen in the north. This is by the Barrow Navigation, Grand Canal, River Shannon, Erne navigation and the relatively recently reopened Royal Canal. More information is available on Waterford Harbour's three sisters upper reaches in the inland waterway's the Barrow, Suir and Nore.


What facilities are available?
New Ross has a modern 66 berth New Ross Three Sisters Marina. The marina provides electrical shore power, mains water, rubbish disposal and recycling facilities plus toilets and shower facilities just outside the secure area in a nearby public park. Diesel and petrol can be obtained in jerry cans by arrangement with the marina manager, or from the 24 hour filling station opposite the marina gate. This service station also supplies Gas and has a small grocery and newsagent.

Alongside the marina is a major lift-out facility catering for vessels up to 50 tonnes. The facility provides hard-standing on concrete and being upriver it is a well sheltered location to winter a vessel ashore. A slipway with tidal access is located at the New Ross Boat Club.

The small town has a population of about 7,000 inhabitants and services the local rural area. As such it has banks, post offices, and launderettes, with a choice of two major supermarkets within 300 metres of the marina, also several bars and restaurants. Beside the Dunbrody is a tourist information centre that will help plan a visit.

Access is good as the bridge that crosses the Rive Barrow above the marina is the important N25 road linking Cork, Waterford City 18 km (11 mi) away and Rosslare Harbour 40 km (25 mi) away. The nearest airport is Waterford Airport that is located about 27 km (17 mi) from New Ross. There are express bus services to Dublin, Waterford and a Rosslare - Cork - Killarney and Tralee main route. Other freelance bus services operate from the quay adjacent to the bridge. A choice of car hire companies operate from here plus taxi services.


Any security concerns?
New Ross Three Sisters Marina is a secured facility.


With thanks to:
John Diamond and Aidan Bates the New Ross Three Sisters Marina manager. Photographs Michael Harpur, Suckingdiesel, Cletjan and Keith James.


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This epic contemporary ballad, written by the Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron (1957-2013), describes the story of those who sailed on The Dunbroady in sound and image.




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