Ardmore, County Waterford

Ardmore, County Waterford

Ardmore (Irish place name|Aird Mhór|Great Height) is a fishing village in County Waterford, Ireland situated not far from Youghal on the south coast of Ireland, with a population of around 330, although this varies with the tourist season. It is believed to be the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland. Saint Declan lived in the region at some time in the period 350 – 450 AD and Christianised the area before the coming of Saint Patrick.cite web | title=Ardmore | work=Ireland | url= | accessdate=2008-07-14]


The village includes two hotels, a number of pubs and restaurants, a petrol station, a pier and slipway, and a number of small stores. There are also one or two sports clubs and a primary school. It boasts a mile-long beach, commonly termed the Main Beach, and three or four other beaches, Goat Island, Ballyquin, the Curragh, and Whiting Bay. Ardmore is a popular seaside resort, but has had difficulty maintaining its Blue Flag beach status due to an outdated sewage system (early works on updating the system commenced 2006) and modern farming practices which result in run-off from fields and subsequently into the bay, especially at the village end of the beach. Paradoxically, the absence of an adequate modern sewerage system has slowed down the pace of housing development in Ardmore compared to some other seaside villages in the southeast. Recently a new hotel was completed, replacing the older Cliff Hotel, that boasts evnvironmentally friendly solar panels and terraces, however, many of the residents of Ardmore are of the opinion that food and drink are too expensive there.


Within the last few hundred years, Ardmore has lost its status as a fishing village, as ships became larger and so unable to dock in its shallow boat cove. The only signs remaining of its former importance include the wreck of the "Samson", a crane ship that crashed on the headland during a December storm in 1987 as it was being towed from Liverpool to Malta. It is now a popular diving spot.

Places of interest

On a hill above the village is a well-preserved 30m high, 12th-century round tower and the ruins of St Declan's church and oratory dating from the 13th and 8th centuries respectively. One of the outer walls of the church features some stone carvings retrieved from an earlier 9th-century building. The carvings include a very early image of a harp, and of Adam and Eve in the garden. The church also contains two Ogham stones, which rest in small alcoves. The present Church of Ireland church (St. Paul's) is in this complex, and some elements of the original structure can also be seen within this church.


The present Roman Catholic church is the main church in the Parish of Ardmore and Grange, however due to a lack of priests in the area, the Parish Priest, Father Milo, serves that parish as well as the nearby Piltown. The church is often the site of parish bazaars and markets, along with the community centre, Saint Declan's hall.There is also an old Church of Ireland church in the village.


*The Anglo-Irish novelist Molly Keane lived in Ardmore for many years and was buried there after her death in 1996. [cite web | title= Molly Keane, 91, a Novelist; Portrayed the Anglo-Irish Gentry | work=The New York Times (by Robert MCG. Thomas Jr, April 24, 1996 | url= | accessdate=2008-07-14] . She is buried beside the Church of Ireland church.
*The American novelist Nora Roberts has based three of her books in Ardmore, making it a popular destination for American tourists.
*The distinguished writer and journalist Fergal Keane spent many family summer holidays in Ardmore, which he describes as "heaven on earth". [ Irish Times, 20 August 2008, page 13, An Irishman's Diary, Hugh Oram]
* The English writer and radical journalist Claud Cockburn moved to Ardmore in 1947. [ Ann Morrow, Picnic in a Foreign Land, Grafton Books, 1990]


The local Gaelic Athletic Association club is Ardmore GAA. Three members of the club, Clinton Hennessy, Declan Prendergast and Seamus Prendergast are also members of the Waterford hurling team.

ee also

* List of towns in Ireland


External links

* [ Dungarvan Tourism: Ardmore]

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