The 70-acre Mount Congreve Gardens, Waterford across the River Suir from Kilkenny
Mount Congreve, across the River Suir from South Kilkenny gardens are set to host a day celebrating Waterford’s maritime heritage on Saturday, August 31 from noon.
Visitors can enjoy watching a variety of maritime vessels from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club as they ascend up the River Suir and berth at Mount Congreve. The replica Viking Longship will also be in display for the afternoon in the Mount Congreve yard and visitors can enjoy the exhibition and take an opportunity to hear of Waterford’s maritime heritage from two expert speakers on the day, Historian and Museum Curator Eamonn McEneaney and local Historian Eddie Fitzgerald. These talks will offer insights into the fascinating maritime and fishery heritage of Ireland’s oldest city and the River Suir. The talk with Eamonn will take place at 1pm and the talk with Eddie Fitzgerald will take place at 3pm.
The maritime heritage talks will take place outdoors in Mount Congreve Yard at the Viking longship and are free to attend. The maritime vessels can be viewed from the Waterford Greenway entrance to Mount Congreve Gardens.
The maritime spectacle, Viking Longship exhibition and talks are free of charge; entry to the 70-acre Mount Congreve Gardens will be at the usual admission price. For further details see www.mountcongreve.com
Mount Congreve has a rich maritime heritage and affinity with the people of Waterford, below are two extracts from an article which was published in1860’s by the Farmer’s Gazette, “There is scarcely an individual in Waterford or Tramore who does not know Mount Congreve, the beautifully situated residence of John Congreve Esq, in consequence of the free permission given by that gentleman to those who may wish at any time to visit his grounds. It is, consequently, the regular resort during summer and autumn of pleasure parties from Waterford and Tramore, those visiting it from Waterford generally preferring to sail up the Suir to the place, handy quays being erected at different parts of the grounds for the accommodation of visitors.”
Four large lime kilns are kept constantly at work during summer, one of them being generally working all the year round, not so much as a matter of profit, as for the purpose of affording employment and of supplying Mr Congreve’s tenants and others in the neighbourhood with lime at moderate rates. The limestone is brought from Mr Congreve’s property on the county Kilkenny side of the Suir, as there is no limestone on the county of Waterford side, and the navigable capabilities of that river enable vessels to discharge their cargoes of culm just at the kilns, thereby effecting a considerable saving in point of carriage. One way or other, a considerable number of people are employed by Mr Congreve in connection with his lime works, besides being of great service to the neighbourhood.