The name Prospect owes its origins to Sir Edward Fisher who called this place
Fisherstown, then later Fishers Prospect and finally now Prospect.
Sir Edward was son of Sir John Fisher who was one of the first to benefit from
the Plantation of Ulster and Sir Edward Fisher was one of those who benefited from the
Plantation of Wexford.
In 1611 James 1st granted Sir Edward the townlands from Tara Hill, Kildermot,
Ballymoney and to Courtown including the River of Ounavarra and Tara Hill itself
and all the lands in between estimated approx. 1,500 acres. For all this he had to
render yearly to His Majesty and his successors £8.
Sir Edward Fisher entered his lands with the help of the Sheriff of Wexford in
May 1613 by breaking down the doors of those who resided there and turning them
Sir Edward set about building his house without delay, as part of the Plantation
conditions of those with 1,500 acres or more was to build a castle or stone house
measuring more than 30′ by 24’and 30’high battlements and to be built within four
years. This castle was built of red brick, stone and slate. It is shown on the map of the
Barony of Gorey as a Tower house with battlements that had a fine view of Tara Hill and
surrounded by a wall approx. 110′ by 72′. This house was known as the Castle of
Sir Edward also built a residence close to Dublin in the Phoenix Park. It later became a vice regal lodge; this site is now occupied by the magazine fort.
There were houses to the north and south of Prospect Castle in the field known as Old Town.
During ploughing in 1938, 1966 and 2010 bricks, stones and slates and several bits of
pottery and evidence of population were discovered.
A church was also built around the same time on the site now occupied by
Prospect Graveyard. Church records show that in 1615 the church was in good repair
and the rector was Rev. Matthew Lee. There were several traders here including John
Todd (a clothier in 1641), a forge and a pound in 1840 and it continued in use up to a much later date, it was situated at the north west side of the graveyard.
Sir Edward was elected a member of Parliament in 1613 and nominated a Burger of Gorey in 1619. On the 27th November 1627 some alarm was caused to the residents of the district by the then appearances of a great number of ships off the coast, Fisher was absent but on his return to his castle at Prospect he was informed of the event by two of his tenants named Hinchley, they reported approximately fifty ships. Rumours of an invasion from Spain was current at this time and hence the anxiety of the residents. It was surmised that the storm the previous night might have driven the fleet off course. A report was sent by Fisher to Lord Esmonde, Governor of Duncannon Fort, who was staying at his estate at Limerick (Kilanerin) near Gorey.
Sir Edward died in 1631 and the estate passed to his 5th daughter who married Sir Edward Chichester. His eldest daughter married Sir Walsingham Cooke who lived at Courtown and was High Sheriff of Wexford in 1630.
The castle was partially destroyed in 1641 when the “pent up fury of the disposed broke like a storm across the land”. In 1654 the castle was shown on the “Down Survey” as decayed.
In 1659 the population of the Prospect Estate consisted of 18 Englishmen and 44 Irishmen.
The estate passed in 1711 from John Chichester to James Stopford, the father of the 1st Earl of Courtown.
In 1769 a new church was built on the Courtown Demesne, Kiltennel church. A
part of the wall of the old church at Prospect was standing in 1878 and contained a
stone on which was sculpted the Arms of Sir Edward Fisher.
The site of Prospect Castle is situated in the field known as Coarse Meadow on the lands now known as Prospect House and farm, there still stands the remains of a stone cottage and bridge over the stream which was the toll house and bridge near the castle on the old road to Gorey.
The old road ran from the back of the coastguard station through Prospect coming out at Clonattin the old road to Gorey.
The present Prospect House was built circa 1830 by Lord Courtown for one of his valued stewards or workers, probably Benjamin Godkin or
There is a ghost of a child that still walks the hallways of Prospect House that has’
been seen by several people over the years.