Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Sunday 16th July – Curraghmore Events

Sunday 16th July marks the three hundredth wedding anniversary of Katherine de la Poer of Curraghmore and Marcus Beresford.  As part of the Comeraghs Wild Festival, the family is holding a series of talks in the upper hall and using the dining room for morning coffee and afternoon tea between talks.

The first lecture will be at 11am ‘The Powers of Curraghmore’ by Mr Kenneth W. Nicholls, one of the most widely respected Irish historians of the twentieth century, followed by morning coffee in the dining room.  Next will be ‘16th July 1717 the marriage that changed Irish history’ by Julian Walton.  Julian has delighted radio listeners with historical anecdotes about things that happened in and around Waterford.

The lecture at 2pm will be ‘a most magnificent place, the evolution of the gardens and demesne at Curraghmore’ by William Fraher, Curator of Waterford County Museum, who has a particular interest in the history of Waterford country houses and gardens, followed by afternoon tea in the dining room.  Then there will be a walk through the gardens with the head gardener Michael Murphy and William Fraher.  This will be a great opportunity to ask questions and get an insight into managing the gardens and plans for the future.

For tickets and further details of these events please visit the website www.comeraghswild.com or phone 086 7777515.


Dungarvan Agricultural Show New Book ‘The Show Story 1913-2017’ for Sale in the Museum

We always have a selection of books with local connections for sale in the Museum with a wide range of topics from local history to guide books to poetry and photographs.  

We now have the new book about the Dungarvan Agricultural Show ‘The Show Story 1913-2017’ for sale at €10 celebrating the one hundredth show.  This is a beautiful book packed with lovely photos and details of the history of the show and at a very reasonable price.  

Our congratulations to the Dungarvan Show Committee on their one hundredth show.  A percentage of all of our book sales goes towards the running costs of the Museum.  Please do consider calling into us in Friary Street to view our selection of books.     

Dungarvan in the Twenty Most Charming Towns in Ireland on TravelMag.com

TravelMag.com recently asked three hundred writers, photographers and selected travel professionals to name the three towns in Ireland they consider to be the most charming, and Dungarvan is in the top twenty.  

The article has a lovely photo looking from the Quay towards Abbeyside, along with a brief description of the town, including a mention of Waterford County Museum.

Object of the Week - Angel from St. Mary's Parish Church, Dungarvan

This angel was at the top of the centre piece of the high altar above the tabernacle in St. Mary’s Catholic Parish Church, Dungarvan.

It is great to see all the work which has been completed in St. Mary’s recently to bring it back towards its former glory, with the restoration of the beautiful stained glass windows, along with the new roof and work on the fabric of the building, and more work to follow.  

Sunday 9th July - Guided Tour of Ardo House, Ardmore

There will be a guided tour of Ardo House in Ardmore by Liam Suipéal on Sunday 9th July. Meet at the museum on Friary Street at 2.30pm sharp. 

Shared private cars to be used if you intend on going. Please contact the museum in advance at 058-45960. Cost free.

New Books for Sale in the Museum

We always have a selection of books with local connections for sale in the Museum with a wide range of topics from local history to guide books to poetry and photographs.  We have two new books by Donald Brady for sale at the very reasonable price of €10 each.  Donald was County Librarian for County Waterford from 1982 until 2010.  He spoke about one of the books 'Katherine Cecil Thurston Irish New Woman Author' at the Immrama Festival in Lismore recently.  The second book is 'Essays from Lismore II' which features some of Donald's previous contributions to Immrama.

A percentage of all of our book sales goes towards the running costs of the Museum.  Please do consider calling into us in Friary Street to view our selection of books.

Donation of Objects for the Museum

The Museum relies on donations of objects/old photographs from members of the public. We do not have funds to purchase objects, so we would be very grateful for any objects of local historic interest which you may have in your possession which you would be willing to kindly donate to us.

By donating items to us you will be playing your part in helping to preserve local history for future generations.  You can drop items into us in Friary Street here in Dungarvan, or call us on 058 45960 to discuss any items you are thinking of donating.

Your Chance to Support the Museum!

Museum membership is available for an annual fee of €15 if you would like to support the work of the Museum.

The Museum relies heavily on membership fees, donations and fund raising activities, so we would be delighted if you would join us as a member.  As a member you will benefit from knowing that you are supporting the important work of the Museum in County Waterford, plus being informed of various talks, new exhibitions and activities taking place throughout the year. There is also a member's annual trip and Christmas meal.

Please do consider joining us as a member.  You can see the very varied and interesting work of the Museum, including volunteers recently taking part in local archaeological digs in the previous posts here on our website and blog.  Call in to see us in Friary Street here in Dungarvan, or call us on 058 45960 for more information.

June 2017 Archaeological Digs at Gallows Hill and Dungarvan Valley Caves

June has been a very exciting month with two important archaeological digs taking place.

First there was the dig at Gallows Hill in Dungarvan led by Archaeologist Dave Pollock with volunteers connected with the Museum helping.  This dig uncovered important information giving clues as to the origins of Gallows Hill, including an unknown 17th century siege fort, a hidden Anglo Norman Motte, four ditches, a piece of worked flint, pottery, clay pipes and a cannon ball.  On the first day of the dig there was also a special dig for children with the Big Dig team which was very well attended and enjoyed by all.

Next came the dig at Dungarvan Valley Caves.  Our thanks to Dr. Cóilín Ó Drisceoil and Dr. Richard Jennings and their team for inviting the volunteers to take part.

Dungarvan Valley is an archaeological gem that has the potential to reveal Ireland's earliest evidence of human occupation.  This was a fascinating dig with huge amounts of information being gathered together by the archaeologists with help from the volunteers.  Finds included a 35,000 year old bear tooth and ancient animal bone remains.

Our thanks to Eddie Cantwell and Chrissy Knight-O'Connor, to all the archaeologists, volunteers, Waterford City & County Council, The Heritage Council, Adopt a Monument Ireland, Dwane Tool Hire, Trihy's Saw Mills, Graphic Print & Signs, Cathal Brugha Resident's Group, artist Anthony Hayes, and all who helped in any way.  Photos are from John Foley and the Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Group.

Start of Gallows Hill Dig 2017

Archaeologist Dave Pollock with Volunteers

Sheltering from the Rain!

Danny Kiely Digging

Eddie Cantwell & Chrissy Knight-O'Connor

The Mayor Came to Visit!

Local Resident Reece Coward

Working Through Sunshine and Rain!



Kevin Barton, Dave Pollock, Chrissy Knight-O'Connor

At the Start of the Dig

Eddie Cantwell with the Big Dig Team

Into the Side of the Mound

Being Filled In at the End of the Dig

Being Filled In at the End of the Dig

Archaeologists and Volunteers at the Caves Dig

Volunteer Paul McLoughlin Helping Archaeologist to Sieve for Finds

Volunteer Danny Kiely Digging

Volunteer Sarah Lucas

Group Looking at the Progress

View Looking Out From the Cave

Dr. Richard Jennings with Chrissy Knight-O'Connor

Leo Varadkar's Connection With Dungarvan

This photo was taken in 1930 in Moloney's Bakery in Dungarvan. Martin Whelan (known as Leo) can be seen at the right of the photo and his great grandson is Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

12th June 2017 - Civic Reception in Honour of William Fraher

William Fraher, Cllr. Damien Geoghegan, with Museum Staff Past & Present
A Civic Reception was held in the Civic Offices in Dungarvan on 12th June in honour of the Chairman of Waterford County Museum William Fraher in recognition of his enormous contribution in researching and preserving the history of County Waterford.

Cathaoirleach Dungarvan Lismore Municipal Council Damien Geoghegan presented William Fraher with two scrolls, and a gift of a Waterford Crystal bowl.

The event was very well attended and was enjoyed by all.
Martin Fraher, Olga Fraher, Jimmy Fraher, William Fraher, Cllr. Damien Geoghegan

Object of the Week - Brownie Camera

The Brownie camera was introduced to the market by Kodak Eastman in February 1900.  It was a very basic cardboard box camera with a simple lens.  It was cheap to buy and became extremely popular.  The name Brownie is derived from the 'brownies' in a popular Palmer Cox cartoon of that period.

This model No. 3 is made of wood and leather dating from 1909-1915.

Sunday 18th June 2017 is International Brownie Camera Day!

Waterford Treasures - International Conference 'The Irish Constitution 1937-2017'

Waterford Treasures - Three Museums in the Viking Triangle will be hosting an international conference 'The Irish Constitution 1937-2017' on 30th June and 1st July 2017.

Speakers will include Senator Michael McDowell SC and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan.

Please visit www.waterfordtreasures.com for full details and to book.


Venue:  Waterford City Hall/Medieval Museum

Date:     30th June & 1st July 2017

Time:     Please visit website mentioned above

Cost:      Please visit website mentioned above

Archaeological Dig at Gallows Hill in Dungarvan

This week 4th to 9th June 2017 saw a very important and exciting archaeological dig at Gallows Hill here in Dungarvan.  A lot of hard work went into the arrangements for this dig, and the team worked hard over the week itself despite the weather.  Our thanks to Chrissy Knight-O'Connor, Eddie Cantwell, archaeologist Dave Pollock, Waterford City & County Council, The Heritage Council, Adopt a Monument Ireland, Dwane Tool Hire, Trihy's Saw Mills, Graphic Print & Signs, Cathal Brugha Resident's Group, John Foley Images, artist Anthony Hayes and all the volunteers who took part in the dig, the local community, and all those involved who are too numerous to mention.

The dig has uncovered very valuable indications of the origins of Gallows Hill.  Further information is available on the Gallows Hill Community Archaeology and Waterford County Museum pages on Facebook.  More to follow!

Object of the Week - Cough Medicine Bottle, 'The Mixture', from L. Mongey, Bridge Street, Dungarvan

The historian and Irish patriot Laurence Mongey was born at Knockaderry, Co. Limerick on 13th June 1895. His parents were Thomas and Julia (née Forde).  He attended Blackrock College and later trained and qualified as a pharmacist.  Mongey originally worked in Dublin.  He joined the IRA and was involved in the War of Independence.  He made explosives and was a 'first aid' man, i.e. he disposed arms at pre-arranged caches. He also operated in the South Tipperary/North Cork area under the name of Larry Lacy.  He was excommunicated by Bishop Cohalan but was later re-admitted to the Sacraments by Bishop Russell.

After the Truce, Mongey moved to Dungarvan, and worked at D.J. Nugent's chemists and pharmacy shop at Bridge Street.  He took over the business when Nugent retired.  Mongey was very interested in the ecology and archaeology of Co. Waterford.  He compiled a list of ogham stones in the county. In 1938 Mongey assisted T.G.E. Powell with the excavation of the megalithic tomb at Ballynamona, Old Parish.  Mongey photographed the various stages of the dig.  In 1941 he published 'The Portal Dolmens of South-Eastern Ireland' as Vol. 1 of 'The Journal of the Waterford Spelaeological Society'.

Another Good Review on Trip Advisor!

We have had another good review on Trip Advisor with an 'Excellent' rating, from a visitor from Northern Ireland in May 2017 titled 'Worth a visit if you are in the area' -

'This is a small local museum, well worth a visit if you are in the area.  It is informative on local history and the part played by local people in Irish national events.  I asked the staff a question, to which they gave a full answer.  They were very helpful'.

As of June 2017 out of all of our reviews on Trip Advisor 85% have given an 'Excellent' rating, and we have never received a negative review.  We have visitors from all over Ireland and many different countries.

Waterford County Museum is certainly well worth visiting!

Saturday 15th July 2017 - Next History Day at Dromana House 'Now the Day is Over', The Literature of the Big House

On Saturday 15th July 2017 from 10am to 4pm there will be a history day at Dromana House with the following talks; 'The life and writings of Molly Keane' by Sally Phipps, 'The big house, a view from downstairs' by Tom McCarthy, 'Now the day is over - Elizabeth Bowen, Molly Keane, & the fall of the big house' by Eibhear Walsh and 'Ballantyne's Folly, Claud Cockburn's big house novel, a tale of good deeds and skulduggery' by Andrew Cockburn.

Price per person is €70 or for two people is €125, including morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. Booking is essential.

Email: info@dromanahouse.com

Object of the Week - Tea Bag from Thomas Power's, 18 O'Connell Street, Dungarvan, Early 20th Century

Thomas Power's business was in operation in 1882 when it was advertised in the Dungarvan Journal:

'Mr. Thomas Power, Baker, Family Grocer, Tea Wine and Spirit Merchant, Blackpool.  This is an establishment where bread of a superior quality is sold. Mr. Power uses only flour of tried quality - and that the bread he produces is good in flavour, and is beyond gainsay, for he has passed the ordeal of the country consumers, amongst whom his bread is a great favourite... farmers are much better judges of what constitutes good bread, than are the denizens of the town.  Mr. Power's vans travel over a large and increasing circuit of the country daily'.

Thomas Power also opened a restaurant at the premises at 18 O'Connell Street.  Powers produced jam with fruit grown in their orchard nearby.  Power's Bakery closed its door for the final time on 16th April 1988.

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