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Bridgetown (Irish: Baile an Droichid) is a small rural village, located sixteen kilometres from Wexford town on the R736 regional road. It is close to Duncormick and only six kilometres from the picturesque fishing village of Kilmore Quay. The population of the village is 747.
The local co-ed secondary school, Bridgetown Vocational College, draws students in from south east County Wexford. Currently helmed by principal Finnuala Green, the school has undergone major expansion since its original construction. Most notable are the 1984 extension opened by the then Minister for Education Mary O'Rourke, and the highly modern new extension which was opened for the academic year 2007/2008.
Bridgetown railway station opened on 1 August 1906. The rail service consisted of a solitary train each way between Rosslare Europort and Waterford (Plunkett) with no service on Sundays. This railway service ceased after the last train on 18 September 2010 but the line remains maintained.
The rail service was replaced by a revised Bus Éireann Route 370 service. Wexford Bus operate a shuttle bus service to Wexford town and Kilmore Quay. Other buslines are Bus Éireann Route 381 (Blackhall-Wexford) and 383 (Kilmore Quay-Wexford.
Nearby villages include:
- Kilmore Quay
- Our Lady's Island
- Wellington Bridge
- Wexford Town
The inaugural Kathleen Browne Arts & Literary Festival was held on the 14th and 15th of September 2018. The Festival is a celebration of local arts, literature, music and traditional crafts and customs held in honour of Kathleen Browne, a former Senator who was born in Bridgetown in 1876. Kathleen Browne played a crucial role in the Gaelic Revival, 1916 Rising and War of Independence, the establishment of women's rights and development of beet farming in County Wexford. She was also a writer, artist, historian and researcher of the Yola language.
The village of Bridgetown is quite self-sufficient with a local supermarket/filling station, garage, post office, bookshop, cafe, take-away, pubs, hair salons, a tailor, an upholster, an interior design business, a doctors' surgery, pharmacy and Ballycross Apple Farm all within easy walking distance. There are also two play school/creche facilities.
Owned and operated by Michael Paget, and his family, situated on land which surrounds the local Church of Ireland. This longstanding local business, which derives its name from the former residence of the Church of Ireland Rector, in which the Paget family now live, has acres of glass houses, growing seasonal flowers, and plants for many shops and supermarkets or the individual visitor to the nursery, as well as having several acres of blackcurrants, which are used by Beechams (now GSK) in the UK for the production of Ribena.
Established by Michella and Arnold Von Englebrechtan in the early 1960s, Ballycross now makes a range of apple juices from fruit grown on their farm, hand-picked and pressed using traditional methods. The enterprise now involves the second generation, Hanna, Christian and his wife Liz. The farm, just outside Bridgetown, has an Apple Fair on Saturdays and Sundays from July to February. Fresh Apple Juice from John O Gold, Cox's Pippins, Elstar and other apples grown in their orchards are on sale as well as delicious fresh apples. The juices contain no added sugar water or preservatives and as well as being great to drink are a wonderful ingredient in many recipes. Waffles with continental chocolate and cream, fresh coffee and a children's farm make it a wholly enjoyable visit for all the family.
Red Books is a traditional book shop situated in 'The Shed' on Main Street with over 70,000 new and old titles in stock. In 2018, it was named the official smallest bookshop in Ireland and is known as a meeting place for thinkers, characters and those with an interest in local culture and history. The tiny bookshop was nominated as one of County Wexfords best leisure activities in 2018. It is open everyday.
An eighteen turbine wind farm capable of producing 27MW was commissioned in December 2006 for Richfield, near Bridgetown. It is expected to supply green energy to around 16,500 homes and could mitigate around 69,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.
Until the late 1990s there was only one housing development in the village, called Lakelands, but owing to the proximity of Wexford town, the easy commute to Waterford, and the increasing adult population of the area owing to young local people reaching adulthood and choosing to stay in the area, developers tapped into the housing boom Ireland is currently undergoing, and has given rise to new private developments to accommodate to demand.
Permission has been granted to developers Montfield Properties for a total of 118 houses in Bridgetown, of which the first phase will consist of 56 new homes. The second phase is currently under construction.[when?]
A further development has recently completed phase one development of two storey terraced, and semi-detached houses and bungalows. The second phase is currently underway and occupies the site of the former Drumgoold home and public house.
Situated on the outskirts of the village, this 10 house development was the first to be built in many years near Bridgetown.
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