Kilkenny Castle: A Regal Encounter with History
- Ireland's Ancient East, Kilkenny, Things to do
- 22 March 2023
Reginald's Tower is a circular defence tower that has played a pivotal role in Ireland's history, located in the historic Viking Triangle of Waterford City. This imposing fortress was built at the beginning of the 13th century and has stood tall for over 800 years, making it Ireland's oldest civic building that has been in continuous use.
Originally, the site of a wooden Viking fort, the tower we see today owes its existence to the Anglo-Normans, who made it the strongest point of the medieval defensive walls. Throughout history, it served various functions under many English monarchs and was even utilized as a mint under King John.
As you climb the spiral stairs of Reginald's Tower, you can see the remains of a 19th-century prison cell, artefacts from Waterford's Viking history, and the sword of the Chief Constable, whose family were the last residents of the tower. The tower was used to store weapons, gunpowder, and cannons, reflecting various periods of Waterford's turbulent history.
Inside the tower, you can find one branch of the Waterford Museum of Treasures, which focuses on the town's thrilling Viking heritage, with exhibits that bring the past to life. Admire a full set of weapons from ancient warriors as well as musical instruments, artefacts, and models of the old city. Learn about Waterford's former ruler Ragnall MacGillemaire, for whom the tower derives its name.
Reginald's Tower is an excellent place to learn about Waterford's rich history and experience the majesty of this imposing fortress firsthand. While you're in the area, be sure to visit the nearby historic French Church or Greyfriars Abbey, one of the first to be built in Ireland, where you'll find a monument to Luke Wadding, a famous 17th-century Waterford priest.
If you're planning a trip to Ireland, Reginald's Tower is a must-visit destination that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the country's fascinating Viking history.