The name Waterford is derived from an old Norse word Vedrarfjordr that can be traced back to the late 9th century. Vedrarfjordr is believed to be derived from either Fjord of the Rams, probably a reference to the export of sheep from the area, or more prosaically, from windy fjord. This latter meaning probably refers to Waterford as being a safe haven for Viking ships sheltering from a windy Irish Sea.
In the 1080s, a Viking fleet at Waterford had become a major force in the tangled web of Irish and Welsh political intrigue when Diarmuid O’Brien, King of Munster, negotiated that the fleet go to Wales to assist Gruffydd ap Cynan to recover the Kingdom of Gwynedd in Wales. A hundred years later it was the turn of a dispossessed Irish king to seek help from beyond the sea in order to regain his lost kingdom. Thus it was,that in 1169 a group of Anglo-Norman mercenaries landed in Wexford at the invitation of Dermot McMurrough and by 1170 they were at the walls of Waterford. After a bloody battle the city fell to Strongbow and his armour clad Anglo-Norman supporters. Strongbow was made heir to the McMurrough lands in Leinster and as previously agreed married Dermot’s daughter Aoife.
The cloth of gold Vestments that, at one time, had been hid away for over 150 years, were up for display at the Waterford Medieval Treasures Museum.
Viking artifacts found in the Reginald Tower
A Viking way of transportation. We would have loved to take it out to sea.
The Waterford Crystal Factory!
This guided tour completely exceeded my expectations. I had no idea what I was about to go and see. We actually saw every step in the process by professionals from the hot, glowing red crystal to the finished product. It is truly an art, and now I want 800 euros to buy a lovely piece... maybe someday! I've always loved Waterford Crystal, my mom is a collector, and I think this is a collection that I want to start.
The founders of the original Waterford Crystal were brothers named George and William. George thought that was cool that he and William were the founders ha ha!