Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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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.

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