History of Castlebridge

The ancient Gaelic territories of Castlebridge were made up of sixty-nine townlands ruled by the Síl Maeluidhir, (later anglicised to Shelmalier). These settlements have seen many changes over the years from the Viking raids of 821 AD to today’s thriving community. It is believed that Castlebridge was named after a castle that once stood where the present Church of Ireland, built in 1764, now stands.

The Norman invasion of Ireland led by Richard Fitz Godbert de Roche arriving in Wexford, in 1167, was an attempt of the deposed King of Leinster Diarmait MacMurrough to re-gain his kingdom.

Robert Roche, thought to be Richard’s brother was granted lands north of Wexford, and the area became known as Rochesland.

The castle at Artramont was built by Edward de Rupe, (Roche) in 1247 and the Roche family retained ownership until the mid-sixteenth century, when their lands were forfeited to Cromwellian soldiers and granted to the Saunders family.

During the 1798 Rebellion, General Edward Roche led the ‘bold Shelmaliers’ into battle Eventually the Roches settled at Garrylough, building the mill in 1851, which ran until 1957.