Heritage hot spots History, nature, art, environment
WATERFORD MUSEUM OF TREASURES What is it?Waterford Museum of Treasures incorporates three museums displaying objects from three periods of the city’s rich heritage.
Reginald’s Tower, on the quays, has artefacts from the city’s Viking period; the Bishop’s Palace, next to Christ Church Cathedral, houses Georgian artefacts, and the new museum, between Cathedral Square and the Bishop’s Palace, displays items from the city’s medieval past.
Why visit?The three museums give an insight into Waterford’s history from the time the Vikings arrived, in the eighth century, right up until the 19th century. Reginald’s Tower, built in the 13th century, is one of Waterford’s most recognisable landmarks. It has been used as a mint, a prison and a military store. Highlights of its collections include the Kite Brooch, made in the 12th century from gold, silver and glass. The collection of the Bishop’s Palace, which was designed by Richard Cassels in the mid 18th century, includes 18th-century furniture and silverware and the oldest piece of Waterford crystal in the world, a decanter made in the 1780s.
Why now?The Medieval Museum has just opened. The striking modern building sits on top of the underground vaults known as the Chorister’s Hall (which can be accessed from the museum via a 13th-century spiral staircase). The museum’s collection includes 15th-century cloth-of-gold vestments, the four-metre-long Great Charter Roll from 1373 (which Queen Elizabeth II saw on her visit here last year) and a rich collection of medieval manuscripts and swords. Visitors to both the Chorister’s Hall and the Bishop’s Palace can take guided tours by costumed animators.
How do I get there?The three museums are in the heart of the historic quarter of Waterford city, five minutes’ walk from the quays. Admission to all three museums costs €10 for an adult; a single museum costs €5 for an adult; accompanied children go free. Open daily from 10am to 5pm; 051-304500, waterfordtreasures.ie.