Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Annual Museum Fundraising Book Sale 2018

Our annual book sale will take place next week from Thursday the 27th to Saturday the 29th of September from 9am - 7pm each day.

The venue is next to the Allrounder Sports Shop in Grattan Square.

Thousands of books and great bargains. 

Our book sale gives a much needed financial boost to help with the running costs of the museum so please do consider coming along to buy lots of books!

Talk on the Hermitage, Abbeyside

A packed house for museum curator William Fraher’s talk on Wednesday the 19th of September 2018 about the Hermitage in Abbeyside was expected and such was the case.

William shed new light on the history of this wonderful and historical building and attachments which no longer grace the landscape at Abbeyside.  His talk which was presented with his usual and occasional dash of humour was followed by an interesting and prolonged question and answer session which shed further light on the history of the happenings at the Hermitage.

The Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club venue is proving to be an ideal location for our museum talks and we are very grateful to them for allowing us the continued use of their wonderful venue.

Talk to Mark the Sinking of RMS Leinster

On the 10th of October 1918 the RMS Leinster was torpedoed and over 500 people were drowned.  Amongst those drowned were a number of Waterford people and their story has not previously been told in detail.

The Musgrave sisters of Tourin House were two of those drowned and they are commemorated on a monument at Affane graveyard.

Author and former county librarian Donald Brady has been researching the subject and the Waterford casualties.  To mark the 100th anniversary we are delighted that he will deliver a public talk titled: 'The Sinking of RMS Leinster 10th October 1918: The Waterford Victims' on Wednesday the 3rd of October 2018 at 8pm in the Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club, Davitt's Quay, Dungarvan.

Admission is €5 and all are welcome.

Object of the Week - Ink and Watercolour Drawing of a Funeral Monument at St Carthage's Cathedral Lismore c. 1799

This funeral monument was erected in the cathedral with some minor alterations.  It commemorates Julia Chearnley (nee Browne) the second wife of Anthony Chearnley (b. 1761) of Salterbridge.  She died on the 27th of August 1799 aged 25.  His first wife was Isabella Newcome.

This drawing is currently on display in the museum.

Object of the Week - Hand Coloured Map of the Road from Carrick to Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan to Cappoquin, taken from Taylor & Skinner's Maps of the Roads of Ireland 1777

Marked on the map are the following country houses - Grey Rock (Carriglea), Coughlan; Mount Odell, Odell; Rockville, Healy; Bettyville, Power; Belmont, Keane; and Dromana, Lord Grandison.

This map (along with other examples) is currently on display in the museum.

Object of the Week - Etching by Power O'Malley (1877-1946) of Carberry's Lane, Dungarvan c. 1935

The Dungarvan born artist settled in America but returned every year to paint landscapes and portraits in locations in the West of Ireland.  He also returned to his native County Waterford and this etching is based on a sketch.

In 1939 he held a one man show in the Waterford Art Gallery and this image was probably prepared for that exhibition.  It is still recognisable as the arch is still there joining the supermarket to Dan McCarthy's shop.

The etching was once in the collection of the great Irish/American collector Alfred M Bender who loaned or donated it to the San Francisco Museum of Art.

Bender was born in Dublin to German parents.  In 1932 he donated hundreds of pieces of Asian art to the National Museum of Ireland which the museum put on permanent display at Collins Barracks in 2008.

Object of the Week - Porcelain Sucrier with Hand Painted Scene of Old Strancally Castle with Cobalt Blue Colouring and Gilt Decoration. Made by Coalport in England c. 1891

The present Strancally Castle was built by John Kiely in the early 19th century in a Gothic style.  The original castle was situated a few miles downriver and the ruins remain.  It was built by the Fitzgeralds and is referred to in 1571.

In 1586 the castle was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh and by 1640 it was in the possession of John Gillard.  It was attacked by Lord Castlehaven in 1645 and it eventually became the property of Richard Boyle, the Great Earl of Cork.  The ruins consist of a tower house and an adjoining hall.

Talking Thatch Event in Dunmore East

Waterford has over 170 thatch houses and on Saturday the 8th of September 2018 at 12pm, master thatcher Hugh O’Neill will speak about the art of thatching.  The event will be held at a house that Hugh is working on at the moment: Grendon, Dock Road, Dunmore East.  

Hugh will speak about the materials, tools and techniques used in thatching and his experiences over the years.  Conservation Officer Rose Ryall will talk about conservation and funding.  

This event is part of a series of talks organised by Waterford City and County Council to raise awareness of the wonderful and diverse built heritage we have in Waterford.  

This is a free event but pre-booking is advised.  Please book at rryall@waterfordcouncil.ie

Heritage of Dungarvan Harbour Exhibition & Guided Tour

During Heritage Week, Waterford County Museum partnered with the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office to run some events celebrating the heritage of Dungarvan Harbour.  First up was a mini exhibition in Grattan Square about the Heritage of Dungarvan Harbour.  Unfortunately, the weather left us down, wind and rain forced us to beat a retreat before our scheduled closing time.  Over the 90 minutes we endured, feedback was very good and we will certainly be trying these open-air exhibitions again.  They are a great way of bringing history out to people.  Our thanks to Dennis and John Tynan for the tea, coffee and shelter.

On Sunday we had a very well attended, leisurely walk along part of Dungarvan Harbour.  William Fraher of Waterford County Museum was the tour guide.  In a wide ranging and informative talk William explored the history of the fishing industry, shipping and the development of Dungarvan as a port.

The museum would like to thank Alan Walsh of the Waters and Communities Office for his support with these events.  The Waters and Communities Office was set up in February 2016 to promote better management of our streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater for the benefit of present and future generations.

John Tynan supporting the museum exhibition at Grattan Square last week in the best possible way.  The happy recipient of the tea is museum curator William Fraher.

A group of over 30 participants got to learn about the heritage of Dungarvan Harbour from museum curator William Fraher last Sunday.  Photo by Pedro Teixeira.

Gallows Hill Archaeological Dig August 2018

From the 17th-23rd of August 2018 the Gallows Hill Dig in Dungarvan took place.  The dig was led by Archaeologist Dave Pollock with volunteers connected with the museum helping. 

This was the second dig to be carried out at the mound and it was a great success with some really interesting discoveries which will be discussed in detail at a later date.  On the third day of the dig there was a special dig for children with the Big Dig team which was very well attended and enjoyed by all. 

Our thanks to Chrissy Knight-O'Connor and Eddie Cantwell, archaeologists Dave Pollock and Jo Moran, volunteers, those who made donations, photographers John Foley and Simon Dowling, sponsors, Waterford City & County Council, The Heritage Council, Adopt a Monument Ireland, Cathal Brugha Resident's Group, artists Anthony Hayes and Kayleigh Regan, and all who helped in any way. 

Photos are from photographer John Foley and the Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Group.

Gallows Hill Dig Donation

Chrissy Knight-O'Connor and Sarah Lucas proudly holding the Heritage Flag with Ivan Lennon presenting a cheque to Eddie Cantwell. 

Pictured is Ivan Lennon, Rochester, USA, presenting a generous contribution to the Gallows Hill Community Archaeological Dig.  Ivan is a long time friend of Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan. 

The Museum Society is grateful to all those who have made very generous donations, not just this time around, but who have previously donated to this very important Dungarvan historical event, among them: Michael Ryan Al Eile Stud, Kilgobnet, Bobby Breen from Ballinroad who is now a respected business man in London and Kevin Dalton, USA, who has been a regular visitor to Dungarvan over the years.  Without these people this dig could not have taken place.

Object of the Week - Portrait of Mrs Elizabeth Mansfield (Nee Woulfe) Late 18th Century

This portrait is believed to have been painted by the Kilkenny artist John Comerford who later went onto become a noted painter of portrait miniatures. 

Elizabeth 'Bess' Woulfe was the daughter of Walter Woulfe of Rathgormack and Carrick, Waterford.  In 1785 she married John Mansfield of Ballinamultinagh and Yeomanstown, Kildare.  His great grandfather Richard married Dorothea Hore of Shandon House, Dungarvan, and he was present at the Battle of the Boyne. 

The painting used to hang in the hall at Morristown Lattin, Kildare, the home of the Mansfield family.  It will be on display in the museum shortly.

Object of the Week - Miniature Portrait of John Odell (1801-1847) of Carriglea House, Dungarvan c. 1830s (artist unknown)

John’s parents were John Odell and Catherine Young, daughter of the Bishop of Clonfert.  John was educated at Cambridge and Oxford.  In September 1827 he married Caroline Ambrosia King, daughter of Lieutenant colonel Sir Henry King.

John decided to build a new house more suitable to the status of the family and picked an elevated site not far from the old family home of Mount Odell.  It is believed to have been designed by Daniel Robertson who also did a set of drawings to transform Curraghmore into a great gothic castle.

In 1826 John was granted confirmation of a new coat of arms which included the arms of Radcliffe and Osborne along with the three crescents of the Odells.

John died of 'fever' on the 26th of May 1847 and his death was widely reported in the newspapers: 'He caught the fever attending relief committees in Dungarvan poorhouse as Guardian'.

The Carriglea estate was left to his brother Edward in trust for his son.

Kilmacthomas Historical Society Talk

During Heritage Week the Kilmacthomas Historical Society will be hosting a talk on the ‘Kilmacthomas Curraghmore Connection’ by the renowned historian Julian Walton.  

The talk will take place on Tuesday the 21st of August 2018 at the Coach House Café in Kilmacthomas at 8pm.  This will be followed by tea/coffee and biscuits.  

All are welcome.

Gallows Hill Project Wins County Final Award for Heritage

Our Gallows Hill Project has won the county final of the National Lottery Community Awards for heritage.  

We are absolutely delighted to win this award and we will now represent Waterford at the regional final against Cork, Tipperary, Carlow and Wexford.

Calling All Little Archaeologists: Heritage Week at Gallows Hill Sunday 19th August 2018 10am-4pm

The Children’s Big Viking Dig will return to Gallows Hill for Heritage Week and the European Year of Culture 2018 on Sunday the 19th of August 2018.

The School of Irish Archaeology will recreate a replica ‘Viking House’ and excavation site where children can explore the Viking world through a simulated archaeological dig.

This site is specially constructed alongside Gallows Hill Community Big Dig, and it gives children the chance to experience the life of an archaeologist by learning how to excavate the remains of a Viking house. 

The Big Dig experience is suited for children aged 5 to 12 years of age.  As they dig through the site, children will unearth Viking treasures and artefacts dating back 1000 years.  They will learn about the lives of our Viking ancestors as history is brought to life by qualified archaeologists. 

Places are very limited and booking is essential for this event, please contact Waterford County Museum on: 058 45960 or email info@waterfordmuseum.ie

The event has been funded and supported by Creative Waterford, (Waterford City/County Council).

Georgian Country House Interiors: Sunday 9th September 2018 10am-4pm at Dromana House


Dr. Peter Murray: 'The influence of Italy on taste in Irish country houses in the eighteenth century'.

Julian Walton: 'The libraries of the Big Houses in County Waterford'.

Dr. Patricia McCarthy: 'A fit setting for ‘Persons of Noble Birth and Rank -  Dromana’s sumptuous apartments'.

Dr. Conor Lucey: 'The stuccoed interior in Georgian Ireland'.

Booking essential

Tel: 086 8186305

€70 pp or 2 for €125: Morning coffee, lunch, and afternoon tea included.

Object of the Week - A Portrait of Edward Odell of Carriglea House, Dungarvan c. 1830

This portrait recently acquired by Waterford County Museum, was sketched in watercolour and pencil by C. Grant at Oxford.  Little is known of this artist but there is a lithograph based on a portrait by him of Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Edward Odell (1807-1869) was the brother of John Odell (1801-1846) of Carriglea.  When John died he left the estate to his brother's son who was then aged three.  Edward was educated at Harrow and at Christchurch, Oxford where this sketch was executed.  Before moving back to Carriglea in 1846 Edward had been on a continental tour and had visited Sicily with John, 2nd Marquis of Ormonde and was writing an account of this trip.

In 1838 Edward married Harriett Ricarda Nugent-Humble of Cloncoskeran House and they lived in Malta before returning to Carriglea.  Edward held the post of magistrate and had a keen interest in history.

In 1850 the Marquis of Ormonde published his account of Sicily under his own name as An Autumn in Sicily but Edward was not given credit on the title page although he is mentioned in the preface.

'A Tale of Two Castles' Gallows Hill Walk and Talk July 29th 2018

We had a nice turnout for our castle to castle, walk and talk, which took place last Sunday morning.  The main speakers were Chrissy Knight-O'Connor, William Fraher, and Dave Pollock, with some additional information contributed by Eddie Cantwell.  

Chrissy took those attending the walk and talk through the history of Gallows Hill and updated them on the archaeological work that was carried out at the mound.  

William Fraher spoke on the history of the town from Shandon Street to the corner of Friary Street and archaeologist Dave Pollock took over the proceedings from there to the castle.  

Our thanks to the speakers and those who attended on the day.

Object of the Week - 17th Century Hand Coloured Map of Provincia Momoniae, the Province of Munster

This map was printed in 1646 and was compiled by noted mapmaker Joannes Jansson (1588-1664) who was from Arnhem in the Netherlands.  

It is interesting to note that it marks the famous 'Speaking Stone' Cloch Labhrais, which is beside the River Tay near Stradbally.  It was believed to possess magical powers as it could tell whether a person was lying or not.  

The map has been generously donated to the museum by historian Julian Walton.

Object of the Week - Down Survey Map of County Waterford 1685

The museum was delighted to receive a donation of this Down Survey Map for County Waterford from historian Julian Walton.  It will be on show soon in our newly arranged displays.

In August 1649 Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army travelled to Ireland to reoccupy the country following the Irish Rebellion of 1641.  This army was raised and supported by money advanced by private individuals, subscribed on the security of 2,500,000 acres of Irish land to be confiscated at the close of the rebellion.  The 1642 Adventurer’s Act stated that the Parliament's creditors could reclaim their debts by receiving confiscated land in Ireland.

The Act for the Settlement of Ireland provided for the confiscation and redistribution of the lands of the defeated Irish, mostly Confederate Catholics, who had opposed Cromwell and supported the Royalists.  Parliamentarian soldiers who served in Ireland were entitled to confiscated land in lieu of their wages, which the Parliament was unable to pay in full.  Lands were also to be provided to settlers from England and America.  The dispossessed landholders were to be transported to Connacht and to other countries.

William Petty, then physician general to the Irish armies, offered to undertake a new survey which would be completed within thirteen months.  The Government signed a contract with Petty on the 24th of December 1654.  The maps are known as the ‘Down Survey’ because the information was mapped down.

Trinity College Dublin has digitised the maps and they can be viewed at http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/index.html

Gallows Hill Dig Donation

Michael Dunford, Al Eile Stud presenting the cheque on behalf of Michael Ryan to Eddie Cantwell.  Also present Waterford County Museum committee members Chrissy Knight-O'Connor and Sarah Lucas.

A great big thank you to Mr Michael Ryan, Al Eile Stud, Kilgobnet, who kindly gave us a very generous donation towards our Gallows Hill Dig.  This donation has insured that we can press ahead with the second archaeological dig at the mound. 

The week long dig, which again is a community effort, begins on the 17th of August 2018 and is led by archaeologist Dave Pollock.

Object of the Week - The Literary Digest March 29th 1930

This magazine published in New York has a cover with a reproduction of a painting by Dungarvan born artist Power O'Malley titled: 'The Hill of Muckish'.  

Michael Augustine Power O'Malley was born in Mary Street, Dungarvan on the 19th of January 1877.  His parents were Michael Power and Bridget Hannigan.  When his father died his mother married Dennis O'Malley and the artist combined the two surnames and signed all his work Power O'Malley.  

He settled in New York where he acquired work as a magazine illustrator.  He returned to Ireland regularly and painted landscapes and people mainly in the West of Ireland.  He had a retrospective show in Waterford City in 1939.  He died in New York on the 3rd of July 1946 aged 68.

Waterford County Museum has examples of his work such as this magazine cover.

American Visitors at Waterford County Museum July 6th 2018

Sometime back Lynette Stonefeld from the USA contacted Eddie Cantwell.  She had received a series of articles which were written by Eddie about her grandfather Paddy Curran from Glenmore who had carried out a rescue mission at the then ‘County Home’ St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dungarvan in 1922 during which time the hospital was occupied by Free State troops.

Republican Bill Lennon who had been shot at Grange had received surgery and was hospitalised at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  During this time Lennon was also awaiting execution.  Paddy Curran and his company decided to carry out a daring rescue and took the wounded Lennon from the hospital.  Paddy then had to flee the country and go to America.

Among the group that came from the States were grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews from both the USA and Ireland.  The group were entertained by Eddie Cantwell and Nioclás Ó'Griofáin.  Eddie then took the group to St. Joseph's Hospital and recounted the story of the amazing rescue to the extended family.

Eddie Cantwell and Nioclás Ó'Griofáin speaking with the American visitors.

Object of the Week - The Cruise of the Erin's Hope or Gun-Running in '67 by M J O'Mullane, Catholic Truth Society (no date)

This booklet details of the voyage of the Erin's Hope to Ireland in 1867 with a hidden consignment of arms and ammunition for the Fenians.  The two masted square-rigged Brigantine was called the Jacknell and sailed from New York on 13 April 1867.  The ship's captain was Joseph Kavanagh of Passage East.  

On the journey the name was changed to the Erin's Hope.  The ship's manifest listed a cargo of pianos, sewing machines and barrels of wine, but concealed with these were guns and ammunition.  The ship was due to land in Co Mayo but was unable to and proceeded along the south coast eventually setting anchor off Helvick.  A local fishing boat 'The Finin' brought most of the crew ashore but they were arrested soon after and sent for trial.  

In 1957 a commemorative obelisk was unveiled at Helvick by Cathleen Clarke, widow of 1916 leader Tom Clarke, to mark the event.  The monument was recently restored by the local community.

Object of the Week - The Sunny Side of Ireland - How to see it by the Great Southern & Western Railway by John O'Mahony 1902

Guide books such as this were very popular with tourists many of whom came from England by boat and used the train network to get to destinations such as Dublin, Killarney, or the West.  The guide book does not feature Dungarvan but has Lismore, Blackwater, Tramore and Waterford City.  

There is a chapter on cycling holidays which says that June and September are the driest months in Ireland.  It recommends that cyclists call to the nearest Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks as they are the best source on information about what to see.  Chatting to locals was an “interesting and amusing experience - nothing can exceed their civility and courtesy”.  

The guide book recommends lunching in their cottages; excellent tea, homemade bread etc were available for one shilling per head.  They cautioned cyclists to slow down as “country people were rather stupid about getting out of one's way”.

Cruinniú na nÓg National Day of Creativity for Children at Waterford County Museum

On Saturday the 23rd of June 2018 the museum participated in the Cruinniú na nÓg national day of creativity for children.  Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed the day and a big thank you to all those who participated.  A lot of organisation went into this event and our thanks to museum committee member Mary Giblin and to our two local artists Kaylee Regan and Tony Hayes for hosting this event.

A sample of the creative process in action.

Object of the Week - A guide to the latest bikes in 1869: 'Velocipedes - Bicycles & Tricycles - How to make and how to use them', London 1869

This book was published the same year that the Dungarvan Ramblers Cycling Club was established in Dungarvan by Richard Edward Brenan (1846-1917).  This was the first such club to be formed in Ireland.  In the same year the club held a four mile bicycle race which Brenan won and the cup which he was presented with is now on display in Waterford County Museum. 

The museum is currently preparing an exhibition titled - 'The Remarkable Brenan's - Cyclists, Photographers, Antiquarians, Artists and Printers'.  This exhibition will be of particular interest to cyclists and those interested in cycling history as we will have two 'penny farthing' bikes on show.  One locally made in the 1870s which has wooden wheels and spokes.  Recent donations of drawings, photographs and papers relating to the Brenan family will be on display for the first time.

If you have any documents, artefacts, photographs relating to this family we would love to hear from you.

Object of the Week - Lithograph of Castellated Bridge & Lodges, Ballysaggartmore Lismore 1853

This fantastic structure was built by Kiely on part of the avenue which was intended to lead to a large Neo-Gothic castle which was never built.  The castle was intended to surpass that of his brother John at Strancally Castle.  

During the Famine Kiely evicted many tenants which earned him a bad reputation as a landlord.  An assassination attempt was made on his life.  

In 1903 the house was acquired by the Hon Claud Anson and his wife Clodagh and sold by him in 1930.  The lodges and bridge fell into neglect and the main house was demolished.  

The lodge and bridge are now a major tourist attraction in Lismore.

Cruinniú na nÓg National Day of Creativity for Children at Waterford County Museum

Object of the Week - Catechism of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore being the Most Rev. Dr. James Butler's Catechism Revised, and the Smaller Catechism c.1920. Printed by Guy and Co. Ltd, Cork

Butler's Catechism was compiled by Dr James Butler in 1775 and was revised in the late 19th century and a new edition produced in the early 1950s was popularly known as the 'Green Catechism' because of the colour of its cover.

These rare examples of the Waterford catechisms are inscribed Con Sheehan, Dungarvan 1920.

Object of the Week - 'The Exhibition Display Outfit' 1940s

This boxed set of letters and symbols was produced to enable shop owners to print their own notices and prices on paper or card.  

Unfortunately there is no maker's mark or label on this set, but it was probably manufactured in England.  

Other examples of printing sets like this were also made for children.

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