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Reginald's Tower Town Wall and Gate
 

County

Waterford

Coordinates

N 52° 15' 37.74"   W 007° 06' 18.96"

Nearest town

Waterford

Grid Ref.

S 61080 12463

Map No.

76

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

9

Date of visit

Thursday 7 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The tower seen from across the busy road that runs in front of the tower, from the east-northeast.


In early medieval times, the Vikings built a fortified settlement with a tower close to the sea. When the Anglo-Normans captured the town in 1170, this tower was rebuilt and the settlement was enclosed in stone walls.
When the Spanish spy Don Diego Ortiz visited Waterford in 1574, he said that the town was enclosed in a stone wall with a perimeter of about 1 mile, with seventeen defensive towers with cannons on them.
Today only six towers survive, along with long stretches of town wall, the largest collection of all Ireland.

Reginald's Tower is the tower that the Vikings erected near the sea, along with their fortification. At that time it was called Dundory, from the Irish Dun Doire, that means the "Fort of Oak".
The Anglo-Normans rebuilt it in stone, but until 1460 it was only half height of what we see today, and the defensive walls would depart northwest and southwest from this tower.
The tower was first used as a mint in 1210, but 70 years later it was also used as a prison. In 1394 king Richard II of England used the tower to store his munitions.
In 1700 the section of town wall that would depart northwest from the tower was demolished.
In 1861 it was the residence of the High Constable of Waterford. And in 1954 it was converted in a museum.
The entrance to the tower and the museum looks to the east-northeast (75°)

This is the only tower in Ireland to be named after a Viking, Ragnall or Reginald, who founded the town in 914.

Though we drove by or walk by this tower a few times in the past years, as early as in 2001, this was the first time we took the time to have a proper look at it.


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