Waterford is Ireland's Oldest City and has a fascinating history; through medieval ages, the days of the Vikings up to Georgian times. Visitors can discover its stories in the many attractions located around the city! The Waterford Treasures, a collection of museums in Waterford’s Viking Triangle, recently unveiled two new additions – The Irish Museum of Time & The Irish Silver Museum!
You will be spoilt for choice of things to do in Waterford on your next visit – check out what you can learn about at the various museums all within walking distance of each other! And of course, don’t forget to learn of Waterford's glass making heritage on a guided factory tour here at the House of Waterford Crystal.
Step into the opulence of our ostentatious past at the Museum of Irish silver and see the story of Ireland told through the medium of the precious metal silver. Since the Viking period in Ireland, silver has been a most prized metal and a means of exchange. One of the seven precious metals of antiquity, silver has long enthralled and fascinated humans who fashioned it into beautiful and useful objects. Highlights in museum include the Waterford Kite brooch, a sword granted to the city by Edward IV, silver which belonged to the famous writer Jonathan Swift as well as medals and commemorative pieces from the biggest military conflicts of our past. You’ll find The Irish Silver Museum located next to The Medieval Musuem.
Ireland’s National Horological Museum features the oldest Irish-made grandfather clocks, table clocks and watches in the world and celebrates the incredible skills of the virtuoso craftsmen who, since the seventeenth century, created timepieces of remarkable beauty and technological genius. The collection is not limited to Ireland, also on display are early European timepieces, some dating back to the mid-sixteenth century along with a display of clocks and watches from Switzerland, England, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Russia and as far away as Japan.
The museum is located on Greyfriars Street in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle. This refurbished gothic-style church is a fitting home for what is beyond doubt the finest collection of Irish timepieces in the world.
The Medieval Museum is Ireland’s only purpose-built medieval museum and the only building on the island to incorporate two medieval chambers, the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault. The museum is home to a number of special artifacts such as the Sword of Edward IV, the Waterford Gold Cloth of Vestments - the only full set of medieval vestments to survive in northern Europe, and the Luker Chalice - made of silver and gold, it is the oldest surviving Waterford chalice in existence. The museum also houses Ireland's largest display of medieval royal charters.
The Bishop's Palace was built in 1743 and functioned as the residence of the Anglican bishops of Waterford up until 1919 when it then became a boarding school until 1967. The building was magnificently conserved and opened to the public in 2011. It is laid out as a historic house and displays many 18th Century treasures such as glass, silver, furniture, paintings and the oldest piece of Waterford Glass in the world - the Penrose decanter. Visitors can take a tour of the house accompanied by a historic costumed tour guide or explore with a handheld audio visual guide. The Bishop's Palace newest experience, '4D Masterpieces In Glass', traces the history of glass making in Waterford right back to the 1700’s. A perfect pairing with our House of Waterford Crystal factory tour.
On the Mall, next to the river Suir, sits Reginald's Tower - Waterford’s landmark monument and Ireland’s oldest civic building. The first tower was built by the Vikings after 914. It was re-built by the Anglo Normans in the 12th Century, and the top floors were added in the 15th Century. It has been in continuous use for over 800 years and served as the strongpoint of Waterford's medieval defence walls. The tower now allows visitors the chance to view its Viking Waterford exhibition, containing numerous Viking treasures such as the kite brooch and a viking warriors sword. If you look closely at the external wall, you might even spot a canon ball that has been stuck there since 1650. Check out their virtual tour to catch a glimpse inside the tower before you visit!
For full details and opening hours, be sure to check www.waterfordtreasures.com to plan your visit!