Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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John Creedon’s Atlas of Ireland

Well done to Chrissy Knight O’Connor for her appearance on John Creedon’s latest series on RTE. Chrissy explained about the Gallowshill Community Archaeology project and the associated research being undertaken into the Viking presence in Dungarvan.

Book Launch

Aine Ui Fhoghlu launched her latest book in Ring recently titled:  ‘Scealta agus Seanchas’.      The launch venue was packed to capacity. The book was launched by Padraig O Machain in Halla Pobail na Rinne. He remarked what a valuable exercise Aine had undertaken in recording the memories of local people and that he was glad to note that the book was printed in Ireland. The museum is delighted to be associated with the publication as we supplied a number of the illustrations for it from our extensive image archive. Thanks to Barry Moore museum image archivist for facilitating this. The hardback of 320 pages is a work of art and beautifully designed and is bilingual.

Mai Fox

The museum was saddened to learn of the death of Mai Fox who was a long-time member of the Museum Society and we send our sympathies to her family and friends.

Margaret Power, widow, of Ballinagoul, Ringville, a poor industrious woman

The following report a Board of Guardian’s meeting in Dungarvan shows the precarious existence of poor people in 19th century Ireland. In this case a widow, Margaret Power, whose house was under threat of demolition.

Waterford News 14 December 1866
Margaret Power, widow, of Ballinagoul, Ringville, a poor industrious woman, who, with one son, aged twelve years, is in the habit of making nets in that locality for fishermen, to enable them to maintain the younger members of the family , was granted a continuation of two shillings a week for a month.
The chairman remarked that if the applicant left her little cabin, that moment it would be levelled to the ground; he might say she had the fee-simple of it, and if she came into the workhouse she would become a permanent burthen on the rate payers.

"The Vikings are Coming" - Making a model Viking Longboat

Continuing to celebrate National Heritage week and in conjunction with Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Project, Waterford County Museum held an enjoyable workshop for children and their parents on Wednesday 21st August.  

This event organised by Tony Hayes involved the children making their own model of a Viking Longboat and it proved very successful.  Parents, staff and the children all got involved in the cutting, pasting and colouring.  When the boats were finished the children enjoyed posing for photographs with the reproduction Viking swords and helmets.

The museum feels it is important to have events such as this to introduce children to history and their local museum.  Many of our exhibits are suitable for children and we welcomed families from all over the world throughout the summer months. 

Alfie and Samuel Carroll

Portrait Drawing Day in Waterford County Museum

To mark the start of Heritage Week Waterford County Museum held a Portrait Drawing Workshop on Saturday17th August.  Museum staff member Tony Hayes organised the event.  Tony gave a PowerPoint presentation on five women artists and spoke about their drawings.  Curator William Fraher gave a guided tour of the portraits on display in the museum.

We would like to thank David for doing one of the modelling sessions and all those who participated in the workshop.  This is the second successful drawing event at the museum and we hope to have more of them in the future.

Keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, our website and local newspapers for information on these events.

Photo of the Week

Can you identify anyone in this group photo in Dungarvan CBS in 1979?  If so please let us know.

John Mansfield (1906 - 1965)

John Mansfield was born at Ballinroad, Old Parish on 6th February 1906, the son of James Mansfield and Bridget Mansfield (Née Power).  He was educated at Ballymacart National School and later at C.B.S. Dungarvan.  He emigrated to America in 1924.

John volunteered to join the U.S. Army in February 1942 just over two months after the attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.  Although he was 36 years old at the time, he believed that he would be drafted shortly and by volunteering he was allowed to choose the branch of the army he wanted.  He chose the Armored Corps and after basic training, he was assigned to the newly activated 4th Armored Division formed at Fort Knox, Kentucky in June 1942. The 4th Armored Division was assigned to Patton's 3rd Army and he served the entire war with this division.  The division was known as "Paton's Pride and Joy", having had the most days in combat of any unit of the 3rd Army.
John was very proud of the 4th Armored Division which engaged in 17 major battles from Normandy to Czechoslovakia.  It was the stellar Armored Division of the 3rd Army, and perhaps of all American divisions that served in the European campaign.  John was twice wounded and many times decorated.  He received the following awards:

BRONZE HEART for Valour in the Battle of the Bulge (Bastonge, Belgium)

PURPLE HEART WITH CLUSTER which means he received this Medal twice for being wounded at Normandy and then near Metz in France.

EUROPEAN-AFRICAN MIDDLE EASTERN CAMPAIGN Ribbon with seven battle stars which means he fought in seven major engagements in France, Belgium and Germany.

DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION received by all members of the 51st Armoured Infantry Battalion who served during the breakout of the Normandy Beachhead.




French and Belgian Decorations.

He was honourably discharged from the Military Service of the United States of America on 19th October 1945 when he returned to New York where he died on 1st July 1965.

John Mansfield's military dog tags and a selection of his medals, including his Purple Heart, are on display in Waterford County Museum.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Waterford Standard 8 September 1899

H.R.H. The Duchess and the Convent of Mercy, Stradbally

The sisters in charge of the weaving industries attached to the Convent of Mercy, Stradbally have just received an order from H.R.H. the Duchess of York for a number of their hand-made linen towels to be sent to York House.

This industry, which was founded some time ago to relieve the distress in the surrounding districts has developed, under the care of the sisters, into one of considerable importance in the South of Ireland.  Not only are all sorts of household linens, pocket handkerchiefs, etc., manufactured…but the convent has gained for itself quite a reputation for its hand-woven coloured linens, which are made in various art shades and used for decorative purposes as well as for dresses.  The Countess of Mayo has always taken an active interest in the progress of the Stradbally industry, and not long since the Countess of Cadogan ordered one of the rooms at the Vice regal Lodge to be hung with Stradbally Linen.  Another order which the sisters have on hand is for two hundred yards of white serge for the Cistercian monks at Mount Melleray.

Photo of the week

Can you identify anyone in this photo of the Dungarvam C.B.S choir from 1966?
If so, please let us know. 

Friday 23rd August 2019 Gallows Hill Children's Viking Big Dig

      Heritage Week Children’s Viking Dig 

Children participating in the ISA Big Dig, Irish School of Archaeology

                                   Friday 23rd August 2019

To celebrate Heritage Week 2019,  we have invited School of Irish Archaeology to join us providing hands-on learning for children. The school will set up their unique ‘Viking House’ and excavation site that allows children and young adults to explore the Viking world through a simulated archaeology dig. Children and young adults (4yrs-13yrs) will have the chance to experience what it is like to be an archaeologist by learning how to excavate the remains of a Viking house.

As they dig through the site, participants will unearth Viking treasures and artefacts dating back 1,000 years. They will learn about the lives of our Viking ancestors as history is brought to life by qualified archaeologists. Our educational workshops offer a unique experience that will leave our future generations fascinated by our ancient ancestors and eager to learn more.

Places are limited and must be booked at Waterford County Museum on 058 45960 or by email info@waterfordmuseum.ie Gallows Hill community dig takes place 23rd August to 3rd September, all are welcome to visit and learn more about the fascinating discoveries.

Court Cairn at Ballinamona Lower, Old Parish

This court cairn is situated in the townland of Ballinamona Lower, Parish of Ardmore.  The site is marked 'dolmen' on the 6 inch O.S. map, and is known locally as 'Cailleach Bhearra's House'.  It is located about one mile north of Mine Head Lighthouse and about 100 yards from the cliff edge.

In May 1938 an excavation was carried out on the site as part of the relief of unemployment programme under the direction of T.G.E. Powell.  Laurence Mongey a chemist and antiquarian and amateur photographer from Dungarvan helped on the dig.

The Cairn & Forecourt : The cairn (mound of stones covering the tomb) was not retained by kerb stones and was about 32 feet in length with about 6 feet on either side of the chamber.  On the south side of the forecourt a small hearth was found.  The forecourt consisted of four large free standing uprights, two in the north and two on the south side.

Plan And Elevation of a Portal Tomb
The Chamber : This is 10 feet 6 inches long and 5 feet 3 inches wide.  It is built with five orthostats, two on the north, two on the south and one on the east side.  The entrance opening at the west end is 18 inches wide.  The chamber is divided into two compartments.  Originally the chambers would have been covered by two or three slabs, these have since disappeared. The excavation found that compartment A had been disturbed, as a pit had been dug into the floor probably by treasure hunters.  Some flint flakes were found in this area.  Some artefacts were found in compartment B including a small amount of cremated bone.  However the floor here had been disturbed at some period.

The Finds : Eleven pottery shards were found in compartment B.  This ware was about 5 millimetres thick.  The shards had a red colour with patches of grey.  Some larger shards were found and when these were joined they formed about one quarter of the rim of a vessel about 13 cm in diameter across the mouth.  The shards were 11 mm thick and composed of grey and white stone grits and mica.  The colour of the pot shards were dark brown with grey and white specks.

'The reconstruction suggests a round base for the vessel which, if this were so, was then of a simple bowl type with heavy applied ledge rim.  Decoration is found on the rim ledge on the body of the pot where it survives.  On the rim are a series of five broad, shallow, horizontal grooves.  Above these, on the edge of the lip are a row of very small vertical impressions.  The outer angle of the applied ledge forms the centre line of a herring bone pattern, made by small oblique stroke like impressions closely set on either side.  The herring bone pattern deteriorates in some places to a few strokes on the upper side only, and in another it is supplanted by three rough stokes executed in the stab and drag technique.  Below the best row of herring bone is a zone broad horizontal grooves...'

Flints : Numerous natural flint flakes were found in the chambers and the cairn. Only three showed signs of human working.

Stone Disc : In the corner of compartment B. a small stone disc was found.  It was made of a fine grained piece of old Red Sandstone with a diameter of 5 cm and 8 mm thick in the centre.

by William Fraher

17th - 25th August 2019 National Heritage Week

Waterford County Museum is gearing up for National Heritage Week. We have received our box of goodies in preparation for our programme of activities during the week.

Dungarvan Cycle Club Commemorate First Cycle Race

The first cycle race for a challenge cup was run in Dungarvan in September 1869.  It was organised by the Dungarvan Ramblers Cycle Club and the race was won by Richard Edward Brenan, the Postmaster in Dungarvan.  He was presented with a cup which is now on display in Waterford County Museum.
The Dungarvan Cycling Club recreated the race last Friday night at Shandon.  The museum was delighted to bring the original cup to be presented to the winner of the race.  Thanks to museum staff member Paulus who brought the precious cup to the Shandon race.

The original cup is now safely back in its display case as part of the museum exhibition on the Brenan family.  This exhibition is a permanent display so why not visit the museum to learn more about cycling in Dungarvan and the printing and photography work of the Brenan family.

17th August 2019 - Portrait Drawing at Waterford County Museum


SATURDAY  17th AUGUST 2019     10 am – 4.30 pm

Following our successful National Drawing Day event and the resulting positive feedback, the Museum is pleased to present a Portrait Drawing day. This is an excellent opportunity to improve your drawing skills for all abilities.

This will be a chance to participate in a portrait drawing event and enjoy a talk by curator William Fraher who will discuss portraits from the Museum collection. There will also be a presentation of differing approaches to portrait drawing throughout history.

Places must be booked in advance   18yrs +

CONTACT info@waterfordmuseum.ie  Phone +353(0)58 4596
It is suggested participants bring a packed lunch.

Timetable of events

10.00   Start:    Drawing
11.00   BREAK: Talk by Curator /Museum Collection
11 .45  Drawing
12.30. - 1.15 LUNCH
1.15    Drawing
3.30    BREAK:  Talk, different approaches to portrait drawing
4.30    Finish 

21st August 2019 - Children's Event for National Heritage Week



Celebrating National Heritage Week and in conjunction with Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Project Waterford County Museum are inviting Children and Parents to participate in a free event "Making a model VIKING LONGBOAT ".
This event will take place on WEDNESDAY 21st AUGUST
11am – 1pm.       Age 10+ years

All children must be accompanied by an adult
Materials will be provided.

Spaces on this event are limited and participants are required to book in advance.
Contact us at   info@waterfordmuseum.ie  
Or phone +353 (0)58 45960

Photo of the Week

Can you identify anyone in this photo from 1960s in Ballinagoul, Ring?  If so, please let us know.

Donation to Waterford County Museum

A World War II gas mask was donated to the Museum by the Drummy family.  Pictured in the photo are Alanna and Claudia Drummy, daughters of Brendan and Claire Drummy, making the presentation to William Fraher, curator of Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan.

Visit from Rehab Care Waterford

Some of the group from Rehab Care Waterford with William Fraher, curator

On Wednesday last we welcomed a group from Rehab Care Waterford who were on a day trip to Dungarvan.  They were given a guided tour of the museum by the curator William Fraher.

If groups/organisations would like to visit the museum you can contact us by phone at 058 45960 or email info@waterfordmuseum.ie to arrange a date.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Waterford News 30 April 1869

California at Kilminnion -or the Miser’s Treasure

‘It appears that four brothers and one sister, known by the name of ‘Villies’, the derivation of which I am at a loss to understand, lived in the same locality for a period of 60 or 70 years.  They generally cultivated con-acre land by planting potatoes, grazed a few sheep…Neither of these parties ever married, fearing the wives might be extravagant, and the offspring, if any, spend their hard earnings.  In time, three of the brothers with their sisters paid the debt of nature, and the means acquired dropped to the surviving party, who is the subject of this report.

Brother Michael followed the same avocation, but it never transpired from his lips that he was worth one penny in the world.  From his emaciated appearance and skeleton frame, many commiserated his deplorable and wretched condition; a respectable farmer, named Casey, gave him the use of a house rent free…He lived by himself, reared a pig, which dined with him at the same table.  On Saturdays he was sure to visit Dungarvan market to purchase the worst description of fish, skate and scalpeen…with a week's provision of yellow meal of the cheapest kind.  As to the washing of his face and hands, they only got an annual scouring, and as to the cleanliness of his linen, it never saw the washerwoman’s hands from the day it was purchased…His outside garments were so patched that it was actually impossible to discover the original texture.  As to the caubeen, it covered many heads previous to its coming into his possession’.

One day Michael fell asleep in the ditch and fell ill and died some days later.  Mr Casey his landlord looked after his internment.  He directed two of his unnamed servant boys to demolish the old house.  One of the boys found ‘some silver in an old saucepan’ and a five-pound note in the thatch.  The other boy did much better – he found a cart-wheel box which contained a ‘large number of old guineas’. He went into Dungarvan purchased a new suit and boots and then bought a ticket to America.

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