Ardmore County Waterford

Ardmore is situated in West Waterford a few minutes off the main Waterford - Cork road (N25) The round tower overlooks the beautiful sandy beaches and the quiet picturesque fishing village. Ardmore is an ideal family resort. The beach was one of the first in Ireland to be awarded the E.U. Blue Flag. Ardmore is also a winner of Ireland's Tidiest Village Award

It is the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland. St. Declan lived in the region 350-450 AD and Christianised this area before the coming of St. Patrick. St. Declan's feast day is "Pattern day" every 24th of July.

Round Tower and Cathedral

This beautifully proportioned Round Tower built in the 12th century raises its tapering form to a height of 30 metres (97 feet), and is divided on the outside into four storeys, marked off by projecting string courses. The entrance doorway is some 4 metres above ground level. The purpose of The Round Tower was to serve as a belfry, and as a place of refuge for the ecclesiastics, and for the safe custody of their books, chalices, shrines and relics.

Saint Declan's Stone

According to legend, this stone was carried miraculously on the waves from Wales following Declan's visit there. Beneath the two supporting points is left a little hollow, through which devotees would painfully drag themselves in prayer on "Pattern" Day the 24th July, in the belief of receiving health or spiritual benefits..

St. Declan's Well and Church

Declan founded a seminar in Ardmore circa 416. The Holy Well served as a Baptistery to the primitive Christian missionaries. Declan Christianised the area of Decies before St. Patrick came in 431. They met a number of times at Cashel. Declan retired for greater seclusion to a little cell he had made himself at the spot where now is the ruined church beside the Holy Well. There is no uniform date for this church; the western section is the earlier construction, whereas parts of the eastern end show signs of 14th century work.

Father O'Donnell's Well

A Mr. J. P. Rahilly of Limerick, whilst staying in Ardmore in 1928 recovering from an illness, found the waters of the well to have great curative properties especially for eye ailments. Mr. Rahilly - with local help - constructed the present edifice. He hoped it would become a place of pilgrimage similar to Lourdes. Father O'Donnell is thought to have been a silenced priest who many years before came and read his office these.

The Look Out Post

Situated overlooking Ram Head and the Celtic Sea, this single storey, single room look out was constructed by the Irish Government in one day in 1940. It was used during World War II by ships and aircraft which passed. It had a telephone connection to the Village Post Office.

Live-Boat Station

A life-boat was first placed by the RNLI at Ardmore in 1857. The present boat-house was built on land agreed by Mr. Odell in 1876. A tender of £255 fro the construction of the building was agreed and the building opened in 1878. The floor of the building sloped 18 inches from back to front to facilitate launching, which was achieved from a carriage drawn by horses. The boat was pulled by six pairs of oars. The life-boat was involved in a number of rescues. At a meeting on 18th January 1895 it was decided that the Youghal and Ballycotton boats would cover this area.

The Castle

This small castle was built at the same time as the coastguard station and was also abandoned in 1921. On the cliffs below is the spectacular wreck of the crane ship Samson. It was blown ashore in December 1987 while being towed from Liverpool to Malta.

West Gable of Cathedral

The Cathedral is on the site of St. Declan's Monastery; the present building is of various periods and many styles. The chancel being the oldest dating from 9th century, with the nave being late 12th century work. Further works on the south side-wall and the east gable ar of the 14th century. The external figure filled panels on the west gable of the nave must be the most striking feature of the whole ruin dating from the 9th to 11th centuries.

St. Declans's Oratory

The Beannach√°n is the oldest building in the graveyard. It is possibly 8th century. The upper walls and roof were restored by Bishop Mills in the 18th century. Within according to tradition is the grave of St. Declan. Generations of the faithful have scooped out the earth from the Saint's grave as it is believed to protect from disease

The Coastguard Station

This building was constructed on the Odell Estate for the coastguards in 1867. It was continually manned until the Civil War in 1922. In 1921 it was abandoned by the coastguard. It was taken over by the republicans on independence and subsequently burnt down. It was the second coastguard station in Ardmore, the first one at the Ardmore end of the Strand became a victim of coastal erosions.

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