Sigginstown Castle

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Baronies of Forth and Bargy

Sigginstown Castle is located in Tacumshane  (in Irish:Teach Coimseáin; in Yola: Tecumshine)  located 15 km south of Wexford town. About 100 people live in Tacumshane. There are 17 houses - the castle will make 18 when we make it habitable!  Tacumshane is in the Barony of Forth, one of the first Norman colonized areas after the Siege of Wexford in 1169

Due to the continuing pressure from the native Irish, these two baronies developed as a secluded area with their own  Yola Language and traditions.  The family names who settled in Norman times and subsequent years are still prevalent in the area.

From the Carnsore Chronicles - People and Places:

The townlands of Ishartmon include Ballyboher, Ballygullick, Butlerstown, Grange, Knockhowlin, Lingstown Lower and Upper, Linziestown, Littlebridge, the wonderfully named Paradise and Paradise Little, Ring, Sigginstown and Walshestown. The area borders on St. George’s Channel to the south and Lake Tacumshin to the west. To the immediate west is the barony boundary with Bargy.

Tacumshane is described in 1837 in A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, and is not very different today!

This parish, which comprises (with the chapelry of Churchtown) 3000 statute acres, is situated between two small land-locked gulfs with very narrow openings, called Lake Tacumshane and the Lady's Island Lake: the surface is flat, and it has only a few streams flowing through it, which are dry in summer, the cattle being then driven to be watered in marl pits, which are numerous in the district and are never exhausted.

The land is chiefly under tillage: the principal crops are wheat, barley, oats, and beans, which are cultivated according to a judicious system. The principal manure is marl, found here in large quantities, and of three varieties, all adapted to the soil; sea-weed, which is eagerly sought after and collected by the families residing near the shore, is also very largely used, both by itself and mixed into a compost with sea-sand.

The lakes are frequented by various kinds of wild and water fowl in great numbers, that are highly esteemed as an article of luxury from the delicacy of their flavour, which is attributed to their feeding on a species of grass or weed in the lakes. A peculiar kind of stork used to build its nest on the surface of the water of one of those lakes, which formerly was unconnected with the sea; but a high tide having broken the intervening embankment of sand, the birds deserted it after the ingress of the salt water. (Tacumshane Lake is now a bird sanctuary and is home to many migrant birds)

Several kinds of fish, particularly herrings, lobsters, and oysters, are taken along the shore in great abundance, and of excellent quality: the herring fishery is the most productive, giving employment during the season for 100 cots or open boats manned with five men each. In taking shell-fish 20 boats are regularly engaged for eight or nine months in the year: the strand for miles is formed of a bank of hard dry sand, and is much resorted to for exercise and for sea-bathing during the summer months. (The fishing industry is no more, and the principal industry is now farming)

The inhabitants, who are peculiarly attached to the place of their nativity, and therefore, until of late years, were extremely averse to travelling beyond the limits of the barony, are peaceable, industrious, and amiable in their dispositions: their habitations, built of mud which hardens to the consistency of stone, are neatly constructed, thatched, the ridge plastered with mortar, and for the most part whitewashed; their offices are equally neat, and the interior arrangements of their dwellings do not disappoint the expectations formed from their external appearance. Their principal want is fuel: coal from Wexford is generally used by the more wealthy farmers; the poorer classes are obliged to have recourse to furze and bean-stalks. There is a coast-guard station at Tacumshane. (We have met many amiable people in Tacumshane so far...)