Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Friday, October 20, 2017

Lecture: Medieval nunneries in Ireland

Our next lecture will take place this Friday October 20th 2017 -
Topic: Medieval nunneries in Ireland
Speaker: Dr Tracy Collins
Dr Collins’ research focuses on the archaeological evidence for female monasticism in medieval Ireland, with a particular emphasis on the later medieval period. One of the most important late medieval nunneries in Ireland was Kiliculliheen in Ferrybank.
PLEASE NOTE: This lecture will be held in the Parnell room, Granville Hotel.
Time : 8:00pm
Admission: Non-members: €5.00 Students € 2.50

Friday, September 22, 2017

Imagine Arts Festival 2017: Decies Journal Launch

Decies No. 73, Saturday 28th October, Parnell Room of the Granville Hotel at 6pm 

As part of the Imagine Arts Festival the local Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society will launch their latest Journal No. 73 which covers many topics from archaeological excavations in County Waterford to the former Waterpark student who established the Irish Air Corps. 

Two of this year’s contributors will give a talk on their respective topics: Richard Tobin, The Cooper, The Racer and the Draper’s Curate: Settling accounts in the Ballyduff National League 1880 to 1891 / Brigid McIntyre, John Cotter - From Aglish to America: a stirring story of a forgotten hero of the Gaelic Revival. Journal for sale at €15.

Upcoming Talk: Waterford district lunatic asylum 1834-1922

Waterford district lunatic asylum 1834-1922
A lecture by Tony Gyves to the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society lecture season for 2017 and 2018 commences on Friday 29th September with an illustrated lecture at 8 pm in the St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Patrick St. Waterford by Mr. Tony Gyves MA titled ‘Waterford district lunatic asylum 1834-1922’.

Interior of Waterford District Lunatic Asylum (NLI POOLEWP 0131)
There is much contemporary discussion about the provision of mental health services in the community. In Ireland organised treatment for people suffering from mental illness was provided in a network of district lunatic asylums established in the early nineteenth century, these were effectively Ireland's first mental hospitals. The Waterford district lunatic asylum was opened in 1834 on a site on the edge of the city, surrounded by orchards, market gardens and farmland in Lower Grange. At the time of its establishment ten staff delivered care to 54 patients, or inmates as they were called, in a purpose-built modern facility. The original asylum building, designed by the leading architect Francis Johnston, still stands in the grounds of St. Otteran’s Hospital and is a protected structure.

Tony Gyves has researched the history of the Waterford district lunatic asylum from its opening to Independence in 1922 when a new system for administering mental health services was established in the Free State. In his talk Tony will describe the facilities in which the patients received treatment and the types of care they received in the asylum. His talk will also look at the evolution of medical practices and administrative systems for caring for the mentally ill in Waterford in the 19th century, and the people who were involved in delivering that care.

Mallow-born Tony Gyves started his career in health administration working for Cork County Council, this was followed by periods spent working in the Southern, Midland and South-Eastern Health Boards, before ending his career as a senior administrator in St. Otteran’s Hospital. His time spent working in St. Otteran’s stimulated an interest in the history of the place and in the little researched area of the provision of services to the mentally ill in 19th century Ireland. He was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Local History by University College Cork for his ground-breaking research on the history of the Waterford district lunatic asylum.

This lecture will appeal to anyone interested in the history of this well-known Waterford institution, the social history of the City and County in the 19th century and the development of medical services in Victorian Ireland. Admission to the lecture is €5, but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. Details of the full programme of monthly lectures can be found on our Facebook page New members are always welcome, the membership application form can be downloaded from

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Exploring Waterford City's Late Medieval Defences

Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society
Exploring Waterford City’s Late Medieval Defences
Thursday 10th August 2017

Our walk will focus on the archaeology and defences of the medieval city suburb of St. John’s. WAHS has been given access to St Martin's Gate, the principal entry point to the medieval city from the southwest, this site is not normally open to the public. On the walk we will also encounter many other upstanding remains that have survived in this historic City quarter, including the medieval John's Bridge and the remains of John's Gate, the city wall and a number of its impressive towers, the sites of St Stephen’s Church and the Leper House and the Elizabethan Aylward House. Our guide Ben Murtagh will not only explain the significance of the upstanding remains but will also reveal what has been learnt about the development of the medieval city from a number of archaeological excavations that have been carried out in this part of Waterford over the past three decades.

Meeting place: Apple Market, under the new canopy (opposite Babycare)
Time: 7 pm

Cost: Members free, non-members €5.00

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fieldtrip to Lismore

Our first Summer outing of 2017 saw members and guests making the trip to Lismore. We visited the impressive Heritage Centre and then took a walk through the Heritage Town accompanied by Alice, the knowledgeable guide from the Heritage Centre. Among the historic sights we saw were St Carthage’s Cathedral where members were impressed by the well maintained interior which contains among other treasures a 16th century chest tomb of the McGrath family and an exquisite stained glass window by the noted pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Other places visited were the gateway to Lismore Castle and the historic ice-houses on the Ballyduff Road. The ice-houses were originally built for the commercial salmon fishery that thrived on the River Blackwater in the 19th century, they have recently been conserved and made accessible to the public by Lismore Tidy Towns Committee in partnership with Waterford City and County Council. Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society members had a very enjoyable afternoon in Lismore and the couple of light showers didn’t dampen our members’ enthusiasm.

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, Ireland.
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