Wexford (Wexford Town) / Loch Garman

Nothing remains of the medieval building, which was on the present site.

Little is known of the early history of Wexford friary.  It was founded about 1265 and the community adopted the Observant reform in 1486.  After the friary was suppressed in 1540, the friars went into hiding.  A small residence was set up in 1615 and a thatched chapel was opened in 1620, both in High St.  Seven members of the community were killed when the Cromwellians broke into Wexford in 1649.  Another four friars were killed in 1655.  The community was able to return in 1660 and the chapel was re-opened in 1673.  A new church was ready on the old medieval site in 1690 and it was the only church open in Wexford during the long Penal period.  The first of the new parish churches was opened in 1858.  It was only natural that the friars became involved in parish work under these circumstances.  They ran an academy, or secondary school, for a while early in the nineteenth century.  This was replaced by the present St. Peter’s College.  Down the years the seventeenth century church underwent frequent alterations, especially about 1790 and in 1857.  The friary was built in 1803 and served both as the residence of the Provincial and as the novitiate for much of the first half of the nineteenth century. The Brown friars introduced the reform into Wexford in 1918.
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