THE CORRIN-REDMOND TREE
On the green lawn in front of the friary there stands a great chestnut tree that has become known as the ‘Corrin-Redmond Tree’. This tree was planted by Mr. John A. Redmond, the step-uncle of John Redmond, M.P., the Leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party.
The present tree replaces a former one known as ‘Fr. Corrin’s Tree’. For, in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, when Fr. John Corrin, V.G., was parish priest of Wexford and the Friary still served as Wexford’s parish church, Fr. Corrin had the custom on Sundays of assembling the people under the spreading branches of the old tree outside the Friary and there discoursed to them on matters of religion.
There is another tradition about this tree. The story is that the present tree and the one before it, marked the spot where some of the friars killed in Cromwell’s massacre of 1649 were buried. According to this tradition, three of the massacred friars were laid to rest here, whilst the other friars were buried in St. Peter’s Square.
THE CEMETERY OF THE KNIGHTS
According to tradition, the old cemetery of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John lies in the open space in front of Wexford Friary. Here – based on this tradition – lie the graves of men who fought in the Crusades, of 12th Century Normans who bore aloft the banner of the Cross in Palestine.
PLAN OF THE OLD FRIARY
Most of the old Franciscan friaries had substantially the same plan in common: they consisted of a central tower with the choir of the friars to the east, the church of the people to the west and, off the people’s church, to the south, the Lady Chapel.
To the north of these buildings generally lay the cloisters, chapter-hall, refectory, kitchen, community-room, library, dormitory and other living quarters.
Wexford Friary, doubtless, followed much the same lay-out; so that it may well be that, somewhere in this open space before the present Friary, lie the foundations of portions of the old Friary built here in the 13th Century: cloisters, chapter-hall, refectory, &c.
The foregoing has been taken from the booklet Wexford Friary, by Fr. Patrick O.F.M., published in 1950.