Heritage Lecture Series

WINTER HERITAGE LECTURE SERIES 2019-20

In the Autumn of 2019, we began to plan a Winter Lecture Series by inviting various guest speakers to present on various topics, local and otherwise, on a monthly basis over the Winter of 2019 – 2020. Our first lecture was given by Eamonn Cotter, Archaeologist from Rathcormac in October and we were up and running! We have already hosted five lectures at this stage and are delighted that they have been so well attended which shows that there is a healthy interest in the history and heritage of the area. Here is a synposis of the lectures this far…

1. REINTERPRETING rINCREW BY eamonn cotter, archaeologist – oct 18th 2019

Eamonn Cotter is a Consulting Archaeologist from Rathcormac, Co. Cork and he presented the topic of “Rincrew Reinterpreted” wherein he explained about the context of this historic site (if a little unknown locally) and explained why the long-held belief that this was an ancient ‘Knights Templar’ site should be corrected in modern historic records.

Rincrew c. 1800

Here is an excerpt from the ‘conclusion’ of a paper entitled “A Blow to the Temple: the ‘Monastic Castle’ at Rincrew Reinterpreted” authored by Eamonn Cotter, Paul MacCotter & Tadhg O’Keeffe.

A notable feature of Irish historiography is the emergence and descent of mistakes which prove extremely difficult to eradicate from the body historic. As an example of this phenomenon one might note that the name of the Anglican diocese of Ardfert & Aghadoe is predicated on the belief that both places were in medieval times episcopal sees that were subsequently united, when in fact there was never a diocese or episcopal seat at Aghadoe (MacCotter 2000b, 161). Another such example involves the alleged move of the see of Ossory from Aghaboe, Co. Laois, to Kilkenny city during the 12 th century. This myth, first propagated during the 16 th century, has long blinded scholars to the reality that the seat of the bishops of Ossory throughout the existence of the diocese has always been located in Kilkenny (Bradley 2015). Rincrew’s misidentification as a Templar House is yet another example…
We contend that Rincrew, with its small stone-built hall and attached two-storeyed chamber occupying part of a compact courtyard, is the only surviving example above ground in Ireland of a small, non-castellated, Anglo-Norman manorial settlement. As such, it surely merits preservation.

“A Blow to the Temple: The ‘Monastic Castle’ at Rincrew Reinterpreted” by
Eamonn Cotter, Paul MacCotter & Tadhg O’Keeffe

2. Clashmore – A MARITIME HISTORY BY NIALL O’BRIEN, HISTORIAN – NOV 7TH 2019

Our second lecture was presented by Niall O’Brien, Historian who is based in Ballyduff, Co. Waterford and is of coure best known for his very interesting 2008 publication “Blackwater and Bride : Navigation and Trade, 7000BC to 2007”.

Audience with Niall O’Brien

In this lecture, Niall spoke at length about the theory that the River Blackwater once flowed to the sea via two seperate channels, possibly splitting at the Broads of Clashmore, and the larger of the two channels being closed up by a violent storm at some time in history, leaving the present-day ‘lesser’ channel being the only mouth of the river in modern times. He then continued to speak about Clashmore’s Patron Saint Cronan or Mochua and tried to debunk the various myths regarding his demise at the hands of ‘Pirates’ and explained in-depth about the pre-history of the original Abbey site of Mochua which is the site where the present-day Heritage Centre stands. He also gave a very interesting summary of the various quays of this parish dotted along the Blackwater and explained about their origins and uses etc.


3. The archaeological landscape of clashmore & kinsalebeg by jacinta kiely, archaeologist – Dec 11th 2019

Our third lecture was presented by our own Jacinta Kiely who is a Consulting Archaeologist and is based at Lickeybeg, Co. Waterford. She explained at length about some of the ecclesiastical and medieval sites within our parish such as the great ecclesiastical site at Kilmore and the various other Ringforts and Souterrains scattered throught our parish.

Kilmore Enclosure

For comparison purposes, she then went on to explain about an archaeological project that she was involved in with Eachtra at Owenbristy, Co. Galway which showed in great detail the various elements of an enlosure and souterrain from this period of history.For anyone interested in viewing some more details of this lecture please click on the following link to the Slide Deck from the night…


4. The Powers of clashmore house by willie fraher, historian – jan 17th 2020
Clashmore House & Demesne

The fourth lecture in our series saw Historian Willie Fraher from Waterford Museum presenting on the topic of “The Powers of Clashmore House”. As some of you may know, successive members of the Power family were Members of Parliament for the County Waterford in the 18th and 19th centuries so they were indeed a well-known and powerful family with Clashmore House being their seat.


5. The Heritage of the ‘small’ house by dr. elena turk, archaeologist – mar 6th 2020

For our most recent lecture we welcomed Dr. Elena Turk to Clashmore Heritage Centre to speak on the topic of “The Heritage of the Small House”. For many people when they hear the term ‘The Big House’ it conjures up images of grandeur and we imagine period country mansions set in landscaped parks with galleries of paintings, ornate fireplaces and statuary.

Small Period Homes of West Waterford

However, smaller houses have a history just as rich and complex as those larger buildings, and certainly just as interesting. These houses of the everyman evolved from prehistoric hut sites through medieval houses to vernacular cottages and town houses, to become the housing terraces and stand-alone homes that make up our streetscapes today. This illustrated talk explores the fascinating history of the ordinary house, from prehistory to the present day…


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