Founded by the Vikings, the city of Waterford is 1100 years old. The city was fortified from an early date. Within a few decades of one of the walls collapse, a major wall-building programme begun.
King John extended the city to the west with at least three new gates being built on the circuit before 1212. In the late 12th and 13th centuries the suburbs were occupied by the Anglo-Norman settlers. By the end of the middle ages a complete circuit of stone walls and towers existed. By 1705 the wall running along the Quays was demolished. Fortunately six towers and large sections of city wall remain today.
THE CITY WALLS
The French Tower
Located along the top of Castle Street, adjacent to Brown’s Lane, the area is dominated by this interesting tower.
The Double Tower
Further along Castle Street, this tower is so called because the interior consists of two chambers, one of which comprises a passageway providing access to the Benedictine Priory.
The Watch Tower
This tower’s cyndrical shape suggests that it dates from the 13th century. Located at Manor Street.
St. Martin’s Gate
One of the three terminal points of the old Viking City, these walls have recently been unearthed in Spring Garden Alley, off the Apple Market.
Located in corner of the Mall and the Quays, this is undoubtedly Waterford’s most famous building.
Located on Waterford’s quays, around where the AIB building on Barronstrand St. now stands, this tower and its wall were demolished during the 18th century.
The Beach Tower
The Beach Tower, with its 15th century Irish crenelations, is one of the finest towers on the circuit. It can be seen in Jenkins’ Lane.
Like the Double Tower, the semi-Lunar Tower is a flanking or “on the wall tower”. It can be seen behind the De La Salle School on Patrick Street.