Ardmore, County Waterford

By | 2017-09-10T21:03:32+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Waterford|0 Comments

Situated in County Waterford, Ardmore is one of Ireland’s most amazing locations. It is a scenic seaside resort and fishing village with magnificent coastal views, rolling cliffs surrounded by ocean that is home to an abundance of native Irish wildlife, many species are protected.

Ardmore is also full of wonderful restaurants, hotels and fabulous things to do and see. The Cliff House Hotel has made Ardmore even more renowned. Ardmore is one of most historic and beautiful areas in the province of Munster and in Ireland.

Ardmore draws its name from the Irish Arid Mohr, which translates from Irish to Great Height. Ardmore is thought to be the oldest Christian Settlement in Ireland and it is said to have been founded by Saint Declan who lived in this area of Waterford at some time during century 350AD-450AD.

This would mean that he turned this area of Ireland to Christianity many centuries before the arrival of Saint Patrick.

Ardmore is home to Saint Declan’s well and one of the best-preserved and oldest Ecclesiastical sites in Ireland. This amazing seaside location is the perfect escape for anyone looking for a tranquil vacation in beautiful surroundings.

Located close to the city of Waterford, as well as the stunning towns Dungarvan and Youghal, giving you easy access to some of Ireland’s most beautiful locations. The village of Ardmore is also situation close to a Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking) area in West Waterford.

The Ruins of Ardmore.

ruins at ardmore

As you approach the mystic ruins of one of Ireland’s oldest Christian sites, it a strange and wonderful experience to know you are walking into a site that has seen opposition for over 1000 years.

That this was the site of get importance to our ancestors as well as being the site of the conversion of the pagan Irish to the faith of Christianity.

Situated high on a hill above the village of Ardmore, this is not just one of the oldest Christian sites in Ireland but is also one of Ireland’s best-preserved Christian sites.

Its magnificent Round Tower looming high above the village representing its long and distinguished past. With its multiphase’s of history reminding us that Ardmore played a pivotal role in Waterford’s History. The majority of the building on this site is from the 12th and 13th Century, with other aspects of the site dating from the 8th and 9th Century.

The Cathedral dates from approximately 1220, however one of the outer wall contains elaborate carvings that were preserved from an earlier building, thought to be from the 8th Century.

These elaborate carvings depict some of the bible’s most famous stories such as that of Adam and Eve. There are also 2 well-preserved Ogham stones located inside the Cathedral in two alcoves.

The dominating feature of this ancient site that can be seen for miles around is the beautifully preserved Round Tower. This Round Tower was constructed in the 12th Century. Its stands at 97 feet tall and contains four stories. The entrance to The Round Tower is located 4 meters above ground level.

The Round Tower was designed as a place of refuge in times of danger, for the religious community residing in this area. It also served to protect portable wealth such as chalices, relics and books. Ardmore would have been a very attractive location to raiding Vikings, during their infamous lightening raids on Ireland.

round tower in ardmore waterford

They were attracted to Religious sites, as they knew the wealth that would be contained within and that was easy to carry. Round Tower’s also acted as Bell Tower’s, which called out times of prayers as well as imitate danger.

The oldest building located within this historic graveyard is the Beannachan, Saint Declan’s Oratory and it is thought to have been constructed in the 8th Century.

It is said that the grave of Saint Declan resides within this wonderful building. Saint Declan’s Stone, is said to have some from Wales, and according to the Legend followed Declan back to Ardmore after a visit he made to Wales.

Saint Declan’s Well is situated at the start of a beautiful cliff walk in Ardmore Village. It is thought that Declan started a seminary in this area to preach about Christianity and that this natural well served as a baptismal font for conversion of the Native Irish to Christianity.

Declan is said to have retired into a life of seclusion into a small cell he construct near the Holy Well. The waters from Saint Declan’s well are said to have healing powers, especially for eye problems.

Ardmore is a wondrous location full of vibrant history and engulfed in the wonders of our past. It is a representation of how Christianity acme a part of life and how our ancestors embraced a new way of life, while still holding on to many of our ancient belief systems. Ardmore is also the site of some of Ireland’s most interesting Maritime History.

It is home to the sites of some famous ship weeks. With its wonderful location and views it is an amazing location to visit and we would highly recommend if you are in this area of Ireland, this is a must see for any visitor.

About the Author:

Sinead is the head of our Historical and Cultural research team. Sinead studied Archaeology with modular Anthropology, and has Post Graduate qualifications in Heritage Management, including History, Museum Management and Religious Studies.

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