Creative World Travel
Founded 1974
Specialists in Leisurely Escorted Tours to Europe

Saint Patrick's Day in Ireland
Lucky Shamrock Tour

Historic Tiles in Waterford
Historic Tiles in Waterford
Photo by Michael Reed ~ Creative World Travel

Leisurely Escorted Tour
to The Emerald Isle

Day-by-Day Itinerary - Page 6


Waterford , founded in 853 by the Vikings on the banks of the River Suir, is surrounded by soft rolling hills.
  From 795 AD, Vikings had been raiding along the coast of Ireland. Soon the Vikings over-wintered in Ireland at ships' havens called longphorts.
  The establishment of a Viking settlement at Waterford by Sitricus, a Norwegian, is generally dated to 853 AD.   Waterford and all the other longphorts were vacated in 902, the Vikings having being driven out by the native Irish. It is recorded in the Irish annals that in 914 AD "A large fleet of Norwegians landed at Port Lairge" (Waterford) and built what would be Ireland's first city.   In 1137, Diarmuid MacMorrough, king of Leinster, failed in an attempt to take Waterford. He was trying to secure the large centres in order to advance his claim for high king of Ireland.
  In 1170 MacMorrough allied himself with Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (Strongbow). Together they besieged and took Waterford after a desperate defense. This was the introduction of the Anglo-Normans into Ireland.

  The Granville Hotel is located on The Quay in the heart of town, across the street from the river.
  The Granville started life as a gracious Georgian mansion during the reign of George III, then became the home of Thomas Meagher, the first Roman Catholic Lord Mayor of Waterford in over two hundred years and the father of Thomas Francis Meagher.
  In the main intersection of Waterford is a statue of Thomas Francis Meagher, an Irish revolutionary, who later served in the United States Army as a Brigadier General during the American Civil War. After the war, he was appointed Secretary of the new Territory of Montana, and soon after arriving in the territory was designated the Acting Governor.

Charles Stewart Parnell

  Charles Stewart Parnell, "the uncrowned King of Ireland," always stayed at the Granville when in Waterford, and made one of his first speeches from a first-floor window.

  This morning, enjoy a walking tour with noted local guide and storyteller Jack Burtchaell.
  On our walk we learn that Waterford is unique. Not only is it one of the oldest cities in Europe, it is the oldest in Ireland. And it is the only city in Ireland where both the Catholic and Protestant churches were built by the same man, John Roberts (1714 – 1796).
  The Catholic Holy Trinity Cathedral was finished in 1796 and the Protestant Christ Church Cathedral in 1793. Robert’s skills were such that both churches are outstanding and one would never imagine they came from the same originator.
  Roberts prided himself on being a fine craftsman, able to keep up with any of those in his employ. His dedication to his art was such that he is believed to have died in his eighties after catching pneumonia, while climbing the scaffolding around one of the churches.
  He was clearly a man of stamina, also building Waterford’s City Hall and Theatre Royal. And as Burtchaell tells us: He and his wife lived to an old age and had 21 children.
  The Holy Trinity is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and home to 10 ornate Waterford Crystal chandeliers, donated by the company.
  Reginald’s Tower is the oldest of the several towers that have survived in Waterford. It’s been in continual use for the past 900 years, since Viking times. Serving as a mint, an arsenal, a prison, and a safe house, today it is home to the Civic and Maritime Museum.

  We end our walking tour at the Waterford Crystal Centre, where highly skilled craftsmen produce hand-crafted high-end pieces using traditional methods.

Glassblower at the Waterford Crystal Centre
Glassblower at the Waterford Crystal Centre
©2014 Photo by Michael Reed ~ Creative World Travel

  In the afternoon, visit the Bishop's Palace to see how the well-to-do lived in middle to late 1700's Waterford, when it was Ireland’s second largest city. Waterford boasts the finest collection of 18th century architecture of any city in Ireland outside of Dublin and its great legacy from the period is its elegant silverware and, of course, fine glassmaking. Visitors to the Bishop’s Palace will see the oldest piece of Waterford Crystal in the world - a decanter made in the 1780’s.

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