A Day in Waterford

Reginald’s Tower is the oldest civic building in Ireland and has been in continuous use for 800 years.

The spiral stairs are imbedded in the walls and are purposely made with different heights. They are called “stumble” stairs as attackers would have difficulty climbing the stairs without stumbling giving defenders the advantage.

The dog collar dates from the 12th C. and is on loan from the National Museum of Ireland. Can you imagine it around a Wolf Hound’s neck.

The OPW is in charge of Reginald’s Tower. If you have a Heritage Pass you can enter for free. It’s quite something to see and one of the important historic sites when visiting Waterford. It’s right on the Marina so easy to find.

We had a nice conversation with OPW Staff at the Tower. They are really knowledgeable and recommended some other things for us to visit.

This carved tree trunk was in a courtyard outside the Viking Discovery event. It is beautifully rendered on both sides of the trunk. Massive and unusual.

Made in 1373 this Charter Roll was commissioned to convince the English King to grant Waterford the position of main port especially with regard to the shipment of wine. This really is spectacular. The illustrations were a way to engage the king and keep him focused on Waterford as the Royal City. It is beautifully drawn and illustrated.

This is the only surviving piece of clothing from Henry VIII. If you’re a Tudor fan, this is really fascinating.

We received a great tour from one of the Museum’s curators. We were able to view the wine cellars which also are part of the original foundation. There are some particularly rare vestments that were preserved in Waterford. They are made from gold thread and highly decorated. Quite impressive.

The Museum is well worth a trip and the price of admission.

Blackfriars was a Dominican Friary from about 1226. It was used until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. You can’t just walk into the Friary – it is run by the OPW and the only access is by a tour. We were fortunate to have a great guide from Reginald’s Tower give us a tour. He was really knowledgeable and told us all about the many gravestones, the construction, the history and lots of interesting snippets about Waterford. He spent over an hour with us and it was terrific. We were very taken by the generosity of the OPW.

Loved these stone carvings which were quite fanciful. There were also carvings of birds that survived from the original Blackfriars.

We spent the day immersed in Waterford’s Viking and Royal City history. So ended the day with…

This unusual Cadaver Tomb carved to depict the Mortality of humans and their decomposition after death.

Pretty fascinating stuff.

After all of our sightseeing we were starving so popped into the Granville Hotel opposite the Marina. Great server who, in answer to our questions, told us the history of the hotel. Delicious Roast Beef Dinner. We really enjoyed the ambiance of the hotel as well.

Waterford is famous for Waterford Crystal and that is a great tour. We had visited there on an earlier trip to Waterford so didn’t repeat the tour this time.

Waterford is a great place to visit. Take your time, ask a lot of questions. People are happy to share their expertise and their love of their beautiful city if you take the time to ask.

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