The sound is of the Norman invasion and conquest of Wexford and also of Cromwell’s plunder as his army “like lightning, passed through the land”. Horeswood is also known as Sutton’s Parish and is in the Barony of Shelburne. Roger de Sutton came with Robert Fitzstephen and the Normans to Bannow Bay in 1169. Roger is said to have received the land from the Norman Knight Hervey de Montemarisco who was Strongbow’s uncle.
The Suttons first settled in Oldcourt where they had a castle and then moved to Ballykerogue and built the castle there in 1307. The castle is in the Murphy family farmyard. Only parts of the castle remain including the towers and
castle walls. The castle was rectangular in shape with a courtyard in the centre. This courtyard or bailey housed the workers and had stables and storehouses.
Part of the Tower House collapsed in 1971. It was built for defensive purposes and stones and boiling pitch could be thrown on attackers. It was over 50 feet in height. As well, the openings, or arrow loops, for archers can be seen.
The tower is said to have had five floors. It had a stone stairs and a garde-robe or toilet. Two large chimneys can still be seen. The castle walls were over four feet in thickness.
The picture shows the chimney opening and this could be the kitchen area.
The Suttons were a wealthy family. When transplanted to Connacht in 1654 Joane Sutton, a widow, had with her, 225 persons, 2,184 cows, 80 plough horses, 200 sheep, 240 acres of winter corn, 400 acres of summer corn and 100 goats.
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When Cromwell arrived in New Ross in October 1649 he sent his soldiers to the surrounding castles in the area. These were Dunbrody,Tintern, Fethard,Ballyhack and Duncannon Fort. Ballykerogue Castle was burned and twenty three Suttons were burnt to death.
One member of the Sutton family escaped on horseback but was overtaken and killed at the place still known as Sutton’s Cross,in the parish of nearby Ramsgrange. Then it was “to hell or to Connaught” for the survivors. Most of the original Suttons were buried in Ballykerogue cemetery and Clonmines where they also had a castle.