Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Next Museum Talk on April 6th

The next Museum talk will be held on Wednesday 6th April 2022 at 8p.m.

The new venue is upstairs at Merry’s Gastro Bar, Lower Main Street, Dungarvan.

The topic will be The Ballyvoile Ambush by Cian Flaherty. 

Admission €5


Stories from Old Newspapers

 Waterford Standard 20 March 1901

Death of Mr. Ambrose Congreve D.L.

It is with regret we chronicle in our issue of today the death of the above-named gentleman, which occurred at his residence, Mount Congreve, on Friday last. Although ailing for some time past, and his death being thus quite expected, it will, nevertheless, come as a surprise to many of the leading families in the county. The name of Congreve has been associated with the annals of Waterford for the past couple of centuries, and we understand that they were a branch of the family to which the celebrated dramatist of the same name belonged. The deceased was a great athlete in his youth, and served as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Life Guards, being considered one of the finest men in his day in the British Army. The Earl of Listowel was one of his intimate companions, and during his military service he often played a racquet with the Prince of Wales…He was the possessor of ample estates both in Waterford and Kilkenny, and the family residence at Mount Congreve, is, as all our readers are aware, one of the most picturesque spots on the river Suir. In the early part of the last century the family took an active interest in the civic and social affairs of the city, spending a considerable portion of the year in their town house in John Street (now Messrs Thomas Walsh & Sons, furniture warehouse). During his illness he was attended by Dr Jackman of this city.

The deceased was born on the 13 March, 1832, was a son of the late Mr John Congreve, and the Hon. Louisa Congreve, was a daughter of the then Lord Clonbrock, of Ahascragh, Co Galway. He married in the year 1866, the Hon. Alice Dillon, who predeceased him. The latter was the daughter of the late Lord Clonbrock, the father of the present peer. There were six children of the marriage, of whom, a daughter, died a few years ago. Capt John Congreve, Eldest son and heir of the late Ambrose Congreve is at present in South Africa attached to the Border Regiment, the other children are Ambrose, Leopold, and two daughters, Ellen and Violet. He leaves three sisters, namely – Miss Augusta Congreve, Miss Louisa Congreve, and the Baroness Von Oesterreicher, who resides on the Continent. The funeral will leave Mount Congreve today for Kilmeaden, where the remains will be interred.       


Entrance Facade Mt. Congreve


Dunhill History Lectures with Julian Walton - Series 2022


The next lecture in this series is as follows:

Date: Thursday 31st March

Time: 7pm

Location: Dunhill Multi- Educational Centre

Speaker: Mr. William Fraher

Topic:  A most magnificent place' - A history of the garden and demesne of Curraghmore House.”


R I C Trunk Donation


Mrs. Helen Aplin (UK) donating her grandfathers (Mr. William Stephens) R I C trunk, to Mr. William Fraher Curator of Waterford County Museum.  Mr. William Stephens was an R I C sergeant in Stradbally until 1908.

Stories from Old Newspapers


Waterford News 20 April 1900

‘Second to none’ – Marquis of Waterford visits St Brigid’s Well Brewery and Lawlor’s Hotel

The marquis of Waterford [John Henry de la Poer Beresford, 6th marquis] visited St Brigid’s Well Brewery on Tuesday. It was his lordship’s first visit to Dungarvan, and he seemed to enjoy it. The Marquis was accompanied by Sir Owen Slack [Sir Owen Randal Slacke (1837-1910] and Captain Gethin [estate manager at Curraghmore]. The distinguished visitors were met at the station by W E Cartwright, Esq, manager of St Brigid’s Well Brewery. The brewery premises were visited and gone through by the party. Mr. Cartwright explained the working of the several departments.

The chiefs of the clerical staff, Messrs Coghlan and Flynn, with the men of the staff, received the visitors enthusiastically, and after a stay of upwards of two hours, during which the Brewery Lodge and the grounds (residence of Mr. and Mrs. Cartwright) were visited, his lordship and the party received a hearty parting cheer from the employees of the brewery.

Subsequently the marquis, Sir Owen Slack, Capt. Gethin, Mr. Cartwright, and Mr. Nugent Humble, lunched at Lawlor’s Hotel, and his lordship expressed the pleasure which he felt, not only at his cordial reception, but at the excellent manner in which the hotel staff, under the direction of Mrs Lawlor, had anticipated every wish of the visitors. His lordship was delighted with the cheerful and comfortable apartments of the hotel, and expressed to his friends before leaving the great pleasure it would give him to inform his friends in London that there was at least one hotel in the South of Ireland which could be classed as second to none in its management, comfort, cuisine, and moderate charges, to be found across the Channel. We congratulate Mr. and Mrs Lawlor on this excellent testimony to their expense and enterprise…which is so well known and highly appreciated by all visitors to the Old Borough.


Lawlors Hotel Circa 1910
Lawlors Hotel circa 1910


Stories from Old Newspapers

 Dungarvan Observer 24 May 1930

Beautiful Gardens Thrown Open

In order to obtain funds for the Jubilee Nurses’ Association some of the best- known and most picturesque of the stately mansions of the county Waterford have been thrown open, and in our previous issue we detailed how successful the event was from every point of view. On Thursday last the beautiful grounds and residence of Lady Musgrave at Tourin were the venue of a big gathering. The rock garden came in for general admiration, and visitors were charmed with the delightful view of the Blackwater, which the demesne affords. The old castle, situated in the estate, was viewed with much interest. Lady Musgrave received the guests and had a very able assistant in Captain Jameson, who acted as guide and instructor. His botanical knowledge was highly appreciated. The new squash racket court which has been laid out in the grounds was available for those who wished to use it.

The beautiful grounds of Moorehill, Tallow, were also thrown open to the public by Mr & Mrs Percival Maxwell…The shrubs were much admired, while the rhododendrons were splendid. A splendid view was obtained of the rich parklands cut out from the terraces at the north side of the house, which the picturesque River Bride winding its serpentine course but added enchantment to the scene. The trees all over the estate are charming.

Whitfield Court, the delightful residence of Lady Susan Dawnay was also thrown open a few days ago, and the attendance was very large. The spacious mansion with its elaborate gardens and grounds evoked much admiration. On Thursday May 22, the stately mansion, gardens, and grounds of Dromana were open to the public by Mr Ion Villiers-Stuart and the attendance was very large.

Lady Musgrave's's Rock Garden at Tourin 




First Museum Talk for 2022

The Museum held its first talk for 2022, last Wednesday night the 9th of March, in the 'Cunnigar Room’ at Crews Restaurant in Quay Lane.   The speaker was Mr. William Fraher, on his recent  new book The Bad Times – Revolution and the Big House in Co Waterford. 

There was an excellent turn out of people for this first talk and great interest and feedback from the attendees, which set a very positive and productive start to the  Museum's talks for 2022.

The late Hal Chavasse


Hal Chavasse, Cappagh

Waterford County Museum was saddened to hear of the passing of Hal Chavasse of Cappagh a long-standing member of the museum society. Hal was an enthusiastic attendee at our lectures and had visited the museum in January to pay his membership and to purchase a copy of Willie Fraher’s book, The Bad Times which features Cappagh House and the Ussher family. We extend our sympathy to the Chavasse family. Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dilis.

Hal Chavasse and Barbara Grubb  2016

Bad Times Book Launch


Bad Times Book Launch

Willie Fraher new book The Bad Times, Waterford Country Houses During the Revolutionary Period was launched last Saturday in the Garden Room at Woodhouse Easte courtesy of Jim and Sally Thompson. The garden looked splendid in the winter sunshine. Amongst the attendees were Joanne Rothwell, Waterford City & Co Archivist, Bernadette Guest, City & County Heritage Officer, members of the Centenary Committee, Trustees of Waterford County Museum, Kevin Hurley, President of the Cork branch of the Irish Georgian Society, and a number of owners of the houses featured in the book.

The official opening was performed by Cllr Joe Kelly, Mayor of Waterford City & County. He praised the author for this work as curator of the county museum and for this book which gave a different insight into this turbulent period in our history. The author then spoke and thanked those who gave him access to documents and photographs. In particular, he thanked well-known historian Julain Walton, and Stradbally historian Cian Flaherty for their invaluable assistance.

When the formal proceedings concluded guests were provided with refreshments organised by events manager Jennifer Reeve and her staff. Thanks to museum staff, Paulus, Marie, and Tony, for looking after the book sales.

William Fraher (Author) -addressing crowd at the "Bad Times" Book Launch


Stories from Old Newspapers

 Dungarvan Observer April 1918

Captain of Lismore Volunteers Arrested

‘Capt. J.J. Madden, of the local corps of volunteers, was arrested at 8.30p.m. on Tuesday morning by Sergt. Hannan and Constable Lyne charged with illegal drilling and unlawful assembly.

He was brought before Mr Gerald Griffin, R.M., Waterford, during the day and remanded to Dungarvan Petty Sessions on Saturday, 6th April. At the 4.25p.m. train by which he was removed to Cork Jail, an unusually large crowd filled the platform and gave several cheers for the popular captain, besides singing ‘The Soldier’s Song’ as the train steamed in. Mr John Goulding travelled to Cork with the prisoner. A force of ten policemen marched to the station with Mr Madden, three of whom formed an escort. Mr. Madden, who is a native of Nenagh, was Professor at the Christian Brothers’ College here, and was most popular with all classes’.

Also arrested at the time were John Keyes and George Lennon of Dungarvan. Lennon later wrote that conditions in the jail were terrible: ‘there was no heat of any kind…beds were mere benches, barred windows were devoid of glass and food was of an appalling poor standard’.  

Cork Jail








Museum Talks


We are delighted to start up our talks again after such a long absence. The first one of 2022 will be:

The Bad Times – Revolution and the Big House in Co Waterford by William Fraher. 

The talk is based on his recent book. The talk will be held on Wednesday 9 March at 8p.m.

The new venue is the ‘Cunnigar Room’ at Crews in Quay Lane, Dungarvan.

 Admission 5 including refreshments.

The Bad Times – Waterford Country Houses During The Revolutionary Period By William Fraher

 New Book

This fascinating book that focuses on the impact of the War of Independence / Civil War on the owners of big houses in County Waterford. Most of these houses were modest in size and some were hunting lodges. This book approaches the subject from the viewpoint of the owners of the Big Houses and how it impacted on their lives and their attitudes to England and the new emerging Ireland.  The role of the house and estate staff is also examined. It looks at the efforts of the owners to obtain compensation to rebuild their houses which were burned or damaged. Fortunately, a number of primary sources became available during the research which have now been brought together for the first time. This book also looks at how this period is covered in unpublished local eye-witness accounts written by Anglo-Irish women.  These are key primary sources by Emily Ussher of Cappagh House, Mildred Dobbs of Camphire House, the Hon. Mary Olivia de la Poer of Gurteen le Poer, Beatrix, Lady Osborne Beauclerk and Frida Keane of Cappoquin. There are numerous illustrations of the various different houses and related aspects connected to them.

The cost of this book is €20, and is available to purchase at Waterford County Museum, Friary Street Dungarvan. If you purchase this book at the Museum you can get an exclusive signed copy by the author.  The Book is also available at David Walsh Office supplies shop Main Street, Dungarvan, Eason’s Dungarvan Shopping Centre and The Book Centre Waterford City.  This publication was supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2013 initiatives and Waterford City and County Council Commemorations Committee.

New Museum Committee/Trustees 2022


The following were elected at our recent AGM:

·         Chairperson:              Christina Flynn

·         Vice Chair Person:     Tom Broderick

·         Secretary:                   Christine King

·         Treasurer:                   Paula Uí Uallacháin


·         Eddie Cantwell

·         Thomas Phelan

·         Irma Costello

·         Tony Fitzgerald

·         Paulus Van Heesewijk

·         Chrissy Knight O'Connor

·         Mary Giblin

·         Denis Barron

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