Tour Code: 7549P4
Duration: 8 hours
Combining the Medieval Museum and the Georgian Bishop's Palace, the Medieval Museum is currently ranked # 1 attraction in Waterford on Tripadvisor.com, the only museum in Europe built over two National monuments, the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault, the award winning Medieval Museum will take you through the medieval history of Waterford city. The Bishop's Palace is a magnificent Georgian residence and a must-see attraction that is rated #3 attraction in Waterford on Tripadvisor.com. Experience authentic grand eighteenth century living in this beautiful Georgian building by being taken through time with our re-enactors who will guide you through the history of the palace, the artefacts and the history of Waterford City at the time.
Waterford Medieval Museum houses the 13th century Choristers Hall in the heart of Waterford's Viking Triangle and is the only museum of its kind in Ireland. The Medieval Museum houses the 13th century Choristers Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault, in the heart of Waterford's Viking Triangle and is the only museum of its kind in Ireland and Europe that is built over two national monuments. This striking new building reveals the story of Waterford through the middle Ages and visitors are wowed as they go underneath the new building into centuries old vaults. On display are the magnificent Cloth of Gold vestments the only complete pre-reformation set to survive in Europe. It's the only complete set of medieval High Mass Vestments to survive in Northern Europe, the only piece of clothing to survive from King Henry VIII’s reign, the ‘Cap of Maintenance’, as well as the Great Charter Roll which was viewed by Queen Elizabeth II on her state visit to Ireland in 2011.
The Bishop’s Palace Museum houses a display of Waterford treasures from 1700 to the 20th Century, and gives visitors a wonderful insight into the history of what was, up until the 1750s, Ireland’s second city. Waterford city boasts the finest collection of 18th Century architecture of any city in Ireland outside of Dublin. Its great legacy from this era includes elegant architecture, silverware and of course, fine glassmaking. This period of elegance began in Waterford in 1741 when the Anglo-German architect Richard Castles designed the wonderful Bishop’s Palace.
Castles built the Palace with its front overlooking the town wall which he had reduced in height so that it formed part of the palace’s terraced garden. Today Richard Castles is celebrated as one of Ireland’s greatest architects having designed most of the great houses of Ireland including the seat of the Irish parliament, Leinster House in Dublin.
The Bishop’s Palace Museum reveals the story of Waterford from 1700 to the 1970s. Amongst the many items of national and international significance displayed at the museum is the only surviving Bonaparte 'mourning cross', which was one of 12 produced upon Napoleon Bonaparte’s death in 1821. The museum also holds the Penrose decanter, the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal, which dates back to 1789.
The Bishop’s Palace offers a unique experience for visitors. The building contains a wealth of fascinating artefacts, period furniture, beautiful fireplaces and a collection of rare and important paintings. An entire floor of the building is dedicated to historic stories specific to Waterford such as Ballybricken’s pig markets, Waterford’s Home Rule story, the First World War in Waterford, the War of Independence in Waterford, childhood and household living in Waterford.