Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
Tel: +353 (0)58 45960 Email: info@waterfordmuseum.ie
Shopping Cart
Articles Photos

Article on Dungarvan by William Fraher

The 19th Century Reconstruction of Dungarvan

Jesse Hartley (1780-1860) - Engineer to the Duke of Devonshire.

Hartley was born on 21 December 1780 near Pontefract, Yorkshire into a family of bridge builders/stone masons.  He was described as a: ‘man of ruddy complexion, a powerful bodily frame and robust constitution’. He was the first full-time professional dock engineer in the world. When the Duke of Devonshire planned to rebuild the centre of Dungarvan in the early 1800s he also decided to build a new quay to help the development of trade and to construct a bridge to link Abbeyside with the town centre. Before this people had to either cross by ferryboat (for which they had to pay a fee) from Abbeyside or travel up the Colligan and cross the river at Ballyneety Bridge.

Hartley was employed as the chief engineer for the works in Dungarvan and he arrived in the town around 1809 and stayed until 1818. Over time he became friendly with the daughter of a local Inn Keeper, her name was Ellen Penny. Her father,  William Penny, was the Seneschal (equivalent to a Town Clerk) and had an inn near the quayside. William died young in 1811 aged 42 as did his wife Fanny who died in 1806 aged 35. He and his wife are buried beside the old gable wall in St Mary’s Church of Ireland, and on the monument, there is a reference to their daughter Ellen and Hartley. Ellen died at Bootle Marsh in Liverpool on 9 December 1836 aged only 28, we don’t know the cause of death, but it may have been during or after the birth of a child.

After leaving Dungarvan Hartley was appointed as engineer to the Liverpool Docks. He designed the Albert Dock with special fire- proof construction. He expanded the docklands from 46 to 212 acres. The buildings have been converted and are now a visitor and leisure attraction of architectural significance.

Jesse died on 24 August 1869 at Bootle Marsh, Liverpool aged 80. He had one child, a son named John Bernard who was also an engineer.

Dew Laas, moored at Davitt's Quay, Dungarvan

Upcoming Events

More Upcoming Events

Latest News

More News

Latest Articles

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list and get all the latest news for free via email. Simply enter your email address in the box below and press the 'Join' button.

Make A Donation

Waterford County Museum is a non profit voluntary museum. We would be grateful for any financial donation large or small.

Social Media

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Blogger Follow us on Youtube
Waterford County Museum 2014. All rights reserved. Please read our Terms of Use
Website By: Déise Design