Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Dungarvan's Ironwork Heritage Part 5 - Bollards

William Fraher, curator of Waterford County Museum continues this week with his series on the wealth of ironwork to be seen in Dungarvan and Abbeyside.  Lamp posts, boot scrapers, railings, balconies, post boxes, gates, bandstands, street name plaques, bollards, manhole covers and window guards.

A Load of Bollards

A distinctive feature of the quay in Dungarvan and the Causeway are the metal mooring bollards which were manufactured in Waterford.  The bollards on the quay are divided into two types – those with the maker’s name and date which are found between Garvey’s Supermarket and the bridge and towards the castle a set of plain unmarked ones.

Dungarvan Quay

Posts and chains on the Causeway early 1900s

In the 18th century there was no continuous quay from the bridge down past the castle. There were two small quays – the principal one George’s Quay was sited around the present Anchor Bar (of timber and rubble stone) and the other, Roderick’s Quay (of stone), was situated where the present castle car park is. 
These quays can be seen in the engraving of Dungarvan published in Charles Smith’s History of Waterford City & County 1746.   Early mooring bollards were probably large timber posts. In the 17th and 18th centuries old cannon were sometimes used.  In the early 1800s the 5th Duke of Devonshire and his son the 6th Duke embarked on a complete rebuilding of Dungarvan.  Part of this work included the construction of a new quay, bridge and causeway which were considered essential for the development of trade.  Jesse Hartley (1780-1860), (later the builder of Liverpool Docks) was employed to oversee the works.  The first phase involved a stretch of quay from the bridge as far as the present Moorings Bar.  The second section in front of the castle began in the 1860s.

The quay had to be rebuilt and repaired at least six times in 1855, 1864, 1869, 1886, 1901 and 1925.  It was probably during the 1901 repairs that the plain bollards were inserted. 

Late 19th century photographs show a line of posts and chains along the quay, just like those on the causeway, but they were all removed over the years.  These and the posts on the causeway are all stamped ‘Graham Waterford’.

Who made the bollards and posts?  Two Waterford foundries, Benjamin Graham, the Quay and James Moir of the Park Foundry.  In 1892 Grahams was described as an old-established firm which had been in operation for a century and started about 1788 by Benjamin Graham who was later succeeded by his son and grandson also called Benjamin.  In the 1890s it was noted in Stratten’s Directory that the factory did general millwrights’ work, heavy castings for mills, ships’ fittings, railways, iron gates etc.  The firm employed forty workers.

In 1884 James Moir established his Park Foundry in Bolton Street.  In 1892 it was noted that his son was also managing the firm.  The factory had an engineering shop, iron and brass foundry, millwrights’ shop, steam engine and boiler sheds.  The firm specialized in ‘heavy castings for the principal railway companies in the region.

Bollards and posts and chains on the quay c. 1910

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