Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum - Waterford
Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum is located in the centre of the historic Viking Triangle district in Waterford city, Ireland's oldest city being founded by the Vikings back in 914. It is Irelands only purpose built medieval museum and is a striking modern building. This unique museum is home to a wealth of treasures and historical artefacts pertaining to the city's medieval past, as well as being the sole building in Ireland to include two surviving and preserved medieval chambers within its walls, the 13th century Choister's Hall and 15th century Mayor's Wine Vault. The museum was erected over these two national monuments. They are well lit and are a pleasure to visit, especially as they were previously inaccessible, they are the starting point for the tour of this museum.
Visitors to this delightful and individual museum are transported back in time to a bygone era of medieval times, when these lands were occupied by the mighty Vikings. It narrates the story of life in the city during this time through to the end of the 17th century through superb historic and archaeological collections, that are well laid out and displayed. The museum is laid out over two floors, the first floor exploring the ecclesiastical history of the city. The second floor is dedicated to the evolution of the city.
Amongst the many displays and treasures to be found here, are treasures of international importance, a four metre long Great Charter Roll, dating back to 1373. There are also the stunning 15th century cloth of gold vestments, Heaven's Embroidered Cloths, they are the sole remaining ones in Northern Europe. They are made of Italian silk woven in Florence and were embroidered in Bruges. The Great Parchment Book, provides a valuable insight into daily life in the city from 1359-1649.
Whilst here visitors will also be able to see see Pilgrim badges, the Sword of Edward IV, the bearing sword and King Henry's VII's Cap of Maintenance, the only surviving piece of clothing worn by him, a Ring Brooch and much, much more. Many items were uncovered during archaeological digs and demonstrate the prosperity of the city as a trading port. The exhibits are fascinating and each object is skilfully lit and comes with an interpretation and is well documented. Two short audiovisual presentations further enhance the experience here, they cover the religious and economic life of this medieval city.
Guided tours are taken by guides in historic character and period costume, visitors are exposed to this amazing collection of historic and architectural treasures, as they are walked through four hundred years of the city's and its inhabitants history. The tours are about forty five minutes in duration and are amazing, not only do visitors get historical facts but also intriguing stories relating to Waterford and Ireland too. There are also multimedia handheld guides in a number of different languages available.
Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum is open daily throughout the year. It has succeeded in encapsulating the long and dignified history of this historic city and its people with a particular style and flair, a first-rate museum.