Nicky Rossiter’s “The Street’s of Wexford” by Celestine Rafferty
“We all wanted to pinpoint our place. In reality we need to invert that address to find our place. Apart from the most intimate sense of place of family and home, the street is our reference point or it may be the townland for rural dwellers.
The street defined friendships, loyalties and often boundaries. In earlier times people often confined interaction within their streets or neighbourhoods. There were also intense rivalries between streets or neighbourhoods – not always confined to the sports fields.
The word street comes from the Latin, strata, and in the Middle Ages the word a road but later came to denote the main thoroughfare in a town or village.
It is interesting to note in a publicity handout for a recent television programme that three hundred years ago – around the early 1700s – Liverpool was classed as a seven street town.
Quoted in “Hore’s History of Wexford Town and County” we find that the suburbs of Wexford in 1659 were classed as Faigh (The Faythe), Bridstreete (Bride Street), St. John Streete (John Street), Weststreete (Westgate) and Maudlintown. This gives some indication of the streets existing at the time. To these would have been added the core streets like Main Street, High Street etc.
In Pigot’s Directory of 1820 the street addresses listed are Back; Main; Selskar; John; Cornmarket; Slaney; Westgate; Old Pound; Common quay; Faith; Custom House Quay; Bullring; Castle; Monck; Anne; Mary; Ram; Paul Quay; Stonebridge and George.”