The story of Reginald's Tower begins with the Viking adventurer Regnall who constructed a defensive base [known as a Longphort] where the tower stands today. Regnall was the grandson of the feared Ivor the Boneless, and by establishing his longphort at Waterford he created the foundations for Ireland’s first city. It quickly developed into an important trading hub, and Waterford become a vital part in an expansive trading network that connected it to far flung and exotic places like Baghdad, Greenland, Russia and Byzantium.
|Access to each level is via the spiral staircase|
|The elaborate roof of the Tower|
Reginald’s Tower was again at the centre of the action in 1495, Perkin Warbeck a pretender to the English Crown, sailed up the River Suir and began to bombard Waterford to force it to surrender. The people of Waterford retaliated by firing cannon from Reginald’s Tower and succeeded in sinking one of Warbeck’s ships, defending the city with such ferocity that Warbeck retreated. In recognition of the determined bravery by the people of Waterford, King Henry VII gave Waterford the motto: 'Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia' – Waterford remains the Untaken City.
However the Tower is not without its scars, and if you look high on the tower to the right hand side of the entrance you can see a cannonball deeply embedded into the stone. This was fired during the Parliamentary siege in 1650.
|Cannonball embedded in the walls of Reginald's Tower|
Today visiting Reginald’s Tower you can become steeped in all of this history, and see the variety of ways that Reginald’s Tower has served Waterford over the centuries, from being a defensive bastion, a coin mint, an armoury and arsenal, a prison and the home of the High Constable of the city.
It is split over four floors connected by a medieval style spiral staircase, with displays on different aspects of the buildings history on each level. There are some really interesting artefacts on display, as a dog owner I was touched by the beautifully intricate copper-alloy dog collar dating all the way back to the twelfth century.
|The 12th Century copper-alloy dog collar|
I really hope you enjoy our blog posts. If you’d like to consider supporting us you can do so by downloading one of our audioguides. They are narrated by professional actors, and have original music by talented musician Enda Seery to help immerse you in the story. They generally run for around 45mins and can be downloaded from our website at www.abartaaudioguides.com. A number are available free of charge and others cost just €1.99, so if you’d like to hear the story of Glendalough, or what life in Dublin was like when it was a Viking Longphort please do try our guides.
If you’d like to keep up with daily posts about Irish heritage then you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. If you have any suggestions about great sites to visit I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment below or you can email us at
We are absolutely delighted to have made the Long List for the prestigious Blog Awards Ireland 2013 in four categories: Best Newcomer, Best Blog of a SME Business, Best Arts and Culture Blog and Best Photography Blog. We're up against some very strong competition in each category, check out the Blog Awards website http://www.blogawardsireland.com to discover the wealth of talent of Irish Bloggers and the sheer variety of subjects!