Jack Burtchaell
Waterford Walking Tours,
Waterford Tourist Services,
Jenkin's Lane,
Waterford.

Phone : +353-(0)51-873711 Fax : +353-(0)51-582595
Email : jburtch@iol.ie

 

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I would say without hesitation that it was one of the most educational, inspirational and enjoyable hours that I have spent in a long while. Jean Tubridy, The Munster Express, 15th April 2011.
Brief Background to Waterford City
Waterford City was founded by the Vikings some 1,100 years ago, it had extensive trading links with Viking Settlements overseas. Later in the year 1170 the city was taken by the Normans who sealed their victory by the marriage of their leader Strongbow to Aoife, daughter of the King of Leinster. Several Norman monarchs of England visited the city and it was extended and further fortified by the Normans.
Jack Burtchaell's Walking Tour at Black Friars in Waterford City, Ireland.
Reginald's Tower on Jack Burtchaell's Walking Tour in Waterford City, Ireland. The city was granted a charter by King John in the year 1215 some months before he signed the Magna Carta. In the centuries that followed the city was Ireland's chief port for European trade and the city prospered. Waterford had privilaged status and withstood siege on two occasions in 1487 and 1495 to maintain its loyalty to the Tudors. Administered by an oligarchy of merchant families, civic office was in the hands of the elite. One merchant, James Rice, was Lord Mayor on seven occasions. His macabre tomb is in Christ Church Cathedral.
In the late sixteenth century, Waterford remained intensely Catholic and earned the title Parva Roma. The power and wealth of the merchant princes was broken in the seventeenth century by the Cromwellians. The local merchants left to form émigré communities all across Western Europe. Indeed the city was put up for sale, but no bids were received. Prosperity returned in the eighteenth century, efforts were made to attract foreign merchants, and French, Dutch, English and Danish merchants settled here. The city was extended along the Quays in 1704. At this time also the important link with Newfoundland developed. This link brought wealth to Waterford, and a Waterford colony to Atlantic Canada.
One man above all is responsible for the city we know, John Roberts (1714-1796), an outstanding architect, has stamped his mark on the city. In the nineteenth century the city was the birthplace of the actor Charles Kean and the composer William Vincent Wallace, both, by coincidence, born in the same house. Space prevents us from telling you more, so come along on one of our famous Walking Tours.

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