Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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 Portrait of Edward O’Dell of Carriglea

Drawing inscribed ‘C Grant, del., Oxford.’ Pencil and watercolour.

The Irish branch of the O’Dells is said to have come from the village of O’Dell in Bedfordshire. In 1678 Charles O’Dell of Castletown McEnery, Co Limerick married Anne, daughter of Sir Richard Osborne of Ballintaylor and built a house called Mount O’Dell, a few miles from Dungarvan. In 1827 John O’ Dell built a new house in a Tudor Gothic style to a design by Daniel Robertson, not far from the old family home at Mount O’Dell.  In 1827 he married Caroline Ambrosia King, daughter of Lieut. Col. Sir Henry King. According to newspapers reports he died in May 1847 aged 45 of Famine fever which he caught while attending Relief Committee meetings in Dungarvan. John had no children, so he left Carriglea to his nephew.

Edward O’Dell (1807-1869) was the brother of John O’Dell (1801-1846) of Carriglea. 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.


This portrait was sketched 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 O'Dell Carriglea House 1830






Summer Opening Times - Waterford County Museum

The museum will now be open on Saturdays, starting from the 15th July to 26th of August 2023 and the opening times are 11am to 4pm.

Cumann na mBan Book

 The last few copies of this excellent account of the Revolutionary Waterford Women written by Eddie Cantwell and Chrissy Knight O’ Connor can be purchased at the Museum and retails at €25.

Waterford County Museum - Heritage Week Event

 Talk & Exhibition

Dungarvan – ‘The most great and antient honour’

The Story of Dungarvan’s Municipal History 1463-1950 

 By William Fraher

Wednesday 16 August at 3p.m. Admission Free

More details to follow.

Focus on Museum Collection

 Irish Prisoner of War Art

This box was made by an Irishman who was captured fighting on the side of the Boers during the Second South African War which took place between 1899 and 1902. There were thousands of Irishmen fighting on the British side and other Irish who fought for the Boers. The British won the war, led by Field Marshal Lord Roberts (from the Roberts Family of Waterford). However, thousands of Boer women and children were held in many concentration camps established by Lord Kitchener and over 26,000 died, marking this as a shameful episode in British colonial history. It is important to say that many thousands of Irish were enthusiastic participants within the colonial empire.

A number of Irish who fought for the Boers were captured at the end of the war and imprisoned in various camps. One of these was a Mr. O’Haughie who carved this box at Bellary Camp in India which housed over 800 men and operated between May 1901 and August 1902.

He made the collection box as a gift for a Father MacNamara of Madras in September 1901. The box is carved on five sides:

1.   (Top)September 1901-Bellary Camp India

2.   From O’Haughie Boer POW

3.   To Rev MacNamara Madras

4.   Transbhaal Abu – The coat of arms of the South African republic or Transvaal and a portrait of the President Paul Kruger.

5.   Eire Go Brath -Harp, shamrocks with red hand of Ulster above

Prof Donal McCracken has indicated that the O’Haughie referred to is one James O’Haughey of Derrynoose, south Armagh. He suggests that having fought for a brief period with Colonel Blake and Major John MacBride he was captured during the retreat eastwards along the railway line from Pretoria towards Komatipoort. The recipient of the box was Rev T. F. MacNamara who was a Mill Hill missionary priest in St Mary’s College Madras and was probably sent as chaplain to the POW camp. His father Michael was believed to have worked as a butler at Dromana House, the home of the Villiers-Stuart family.

Boer War Box




Focus on Museum Collection

Portrait of Elizabeth Mansfield (née Woulfe)

Family tradition states that this portrait was painted by the Kilkenny artist, John Comerford (1770-1832). Comerford initially painted full-sized portraits but later specialized in miniatures, for which he was renowned. These early full-sized portraits by him are rare. The painting originally hung in the hall at Morristown Lattin, Co Kildare.

The subject of the portrait is (‘Bess’) Elizabeth Woulfe, of Monadiha, Rathgormack Co Waterford. Her hair is strikingly decorated with pearls and flowers. She also wears a piece of jewellery attached to a ribbon and a rose in the centre. She is wearing a blue silk dress trimmed with lace around the neck.

Her father Walter Woulfe succeeded to the family estates through his mother, Mary Power, after the death of his uncles Nicholas and Thomas Power. The Woulfe estates were in Carrick-On-Suir, Co Tipperary, and Rathgormack, Co Waterford. Elizabeth married John Mansfield in 1785. By this time, he had moved the family base from Ballinamultina to Yeomanstown, Co Kildare. John died in 1817 and the estates passed to his younger son Walter Henry Mansfield.

The Mansfield family of Morristown Lattin date from the time of Henry II when Sir Rodolphus Mansfield settled in Ireland from Nottinghamshire. He was granted estates in counties Armagh, Derry, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick. He made his home at Killongford and Ballinamultina, Co Waterford. The estates of his descendant, Walter Mansfield, were confiscated due to his participation in the 1641 Rebellion. After the Restoration he recovered only part of the estate, the lands at Ballinamultina. In order to build up their estates once again the Mansfields (who remained Catholic) married into prominent families such as the Woulfes, Eustaces, and Lattins. Elizabeth’s husband John Mansfield’s great grandfather Richard married Dorothea Hore of Shandon House, Dungarvan. Richard held a commission in Col. Bagnall’s regiment of infantry in the army of James II and was present at the Battle of the Boyne.

Elizabeth Mansfield (nee Woulfe)

Opening of Bad Times Exhibition at Museum

 The museum had a very successful opening of The Bad Times Burning Big Houses in County Waterford 1923 exhibition, which is based on the book “Bad Times” by William Fraher.

The event was well attended with over 70 people turning up at the museum, to see this new exhibition. The opening speech was given by Museum President Thomas Phelan, followed by historian & author Mr. Pat McCarthy who officially opened the exhibition and the launch of the second edition of The Bad Times book. Next to speak was Chairperson of the Waterford City & County Centenary Commemorations Committee Mr. Michael Farrell.   The exhibition curator thanked the decade of Centenaries Committee for grant aiding the display. He commented on the lack of a permanent- temporary exhibition space within the museum.  He acknowledged the assistance of all those who had allowed access to private documents and loaned items for the exhibition.  In conclusion the thanked the museum staff without whom the exhibitions would not be possible.

The evening was a great success, and the museum would like to thank the following people who contributed to the organisation and preparation of the catering and distribution of the food & drinks on the evening. We would like to extend a big thank to, Stephanie, Anthony, Marie, Tony, Mary, Áine, Christine and Mike, and to our chair movers and helpers Alex and Kyle.

The Bad Times Exhibition 2023


Bernadette Guest ( City & County Heritage Officer) William Fraher ( Curator of  Waterford County Museum) And Joanne Rothwell ( City & County Archivist)

Group of attendees at the opening of The Bad Times Exhibition.

William Fraher, Christine King , Aine Ui Fhoghlu, Thomas Phelan and Eddie Cantwell

Cumman na mBan Book

The last few copies of this excellent account of the Revolutionary Waterford Women written by Eddie Cantwell and Chrissy Knight O’ Connor can be purchased at the Museum and retails at €25.

Waterford Women of the Revolution 1914-1923

Focus on Museum Collection County Waterford Lace

In the 19th century lace making was encouraged as a suitable occupation for young girls and women. It allowed them to also earn a living and provided an income for married women giving them some financial independence. In 1868 Miss Keane of Cappoquin, began to teach lace making to the local girls using Italian patterns. For about ten years thirty girls were employed. ‘Miss Keane [Francis Annie Keane 1849-1920, Glenshelane House] and one of the women unraveled some old Venetian rose point, and so learned the method of working. Only Venetian laces and the finest kind of Reticella are made at this school. At the annual Exhibition of Industries at Lismore Castle for the cottagers of the Duke of Devonshire’s estate, specimens of Maltese lace are still shown, the workers being the remnant of a number once employed at the convent, Tallow, Co Waterford.’ (The Woman’s World, 1888).

In the 1880s James Brenan, head of the Cork School of Art visited convents throughout Munster to instruct the nuns in the art of lace making. In 1885 Queen Victoria ordered a fan of Cappoquin lace for Princess Beatrice’s wedding.

Lace Circa 1880


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