History & Heritage in Dungarvan and Waterford

Dungarvan Old Market House (17th Century)

This building started life as a butter market in the late 1690s. The area in front of the building became known as the market place. In 1984 the building was restored and for many years housed the town library and museum. The Old Market House Arts Centre now has year round local, national and touring exhibitions which change monthly.

Augustinian Abbey Dungarvan (1290 AD)

Dungarvan was attractive to the McGraths and O'Briens, who were eager to find a strong refuge and they set up an Augustinian Abbey in 1290 AD. The Abbey buildings were ruined after the Cromwellian attack on Dungarvan. The present Catholic Church, St. Augustine's Church was built on the foundations of the Abbey and incorporates fragments from it including the coat of arms on the west wall.

King John's Castle Dungarvan (12th century)

King John's Castle is a 12th century Anglo-Norman Castle. During the Irish Civil War, the barracks were taken by the IRA forces who set fire to it before leaving in August 1922. With the foundation of the Garda Siochana in 1922 the building was restored and used as the local Garda Station until 1987.

St. Mary's Parish Church Dungarvan (19th century)

St. Mary's Parish Church was built in 1828 by George Richard Pain. The stark gable wall standing to the back of the Church is thought to have formed part of the pre-Reformation church of St. Mary the Virgin. The Churchyard contains some interesting gravestones. On the west side of the cemetery is a mass grave and a memorial to those who died in the Moresby shipwreck in 1895.

St Declan's Round Tower

Ardmore is located just a short drive west from Dungarvan. Ardmore is home to one of the best beaches in West Waterford and is also proud home to one of Ireland's most impressive round towers. St. Declan's Round Tower. St. Declan is alleged to have been a bishop in Munster when St. Patrick arrived, and is one of the main supports for the belief in the existence of Christianity in the south of Ireland before St. Patrick. Two Ogham stones are located in the Cathedral. The Round Tower and the Cathedral are said to have been built in the 12th century, although the tower could be older possibly 10th century. 

Reginalds Tower

Reginalds Tower has stood on its Waterford Quay site for more than a thousand years. The present structure dates from the late 12th century and is the oldest urban civic building in Ireland. It has recently been completely restored to its medieval appearance.

Curraghmore House

Curraghmore House, located 40kms away, is owned by the Marquis of Waterford and has been home to his ancestors since 1170. Guided tours of the house are usually conducted personally by Lord Waterford.


Lismore is a beautiful village located, 20kms from Dungarvan. The story of Lismore and its Celtic origins dates from 636 and is told in an award-winning presentation at Lismore Heritage Centre, housed in a former courthouse.

Lismore Castle

The Irish home of the Dukes of Devonshire and has been since 1753. The castle is very impressive both in location and style. It is situated on the Blackwater river overlooking the valley and has views over it has views over the Knockmealdown Mountains. The present duke is Peregrine Andrew Morny Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire. Web:

The Dunbrody

Located 65kms north-west of Dungarvan, is The Dunbrody, a full scale reproduction of a 19th century famine ship. See how the hopeful emigrants travelled across the Atlantic to their new home in North America during the Great Famine of 1845 - 1847. The stories of these brave travellers include those of the Kennedy Family, Henry Rod and Commodore Barry. Records of over 2 million passengers are held on the computer database.

The Waterford County Museum

Waterford County Museum, is dedicated to preserving the history of Dungarvan and West Waterford. It is located in the Town Hall, features key area events, genealogy, maritime history and more. The Museum presents the history of Dungarvan and West Waterford through a series of displays and panels. Waterford Treasures at the Granary is both a treasury and a treasure trail that takes you through one thousand years of Ireland's oldest city.