Mail Packet Steamers

Summary

 

Mail Packet Steamers carrying letters and passengers plied between Milford in Wales and Waterford Harbour for several hundred years. In 1823 the service was taken over by the Post Office and the following year steam replaced sail on the Milford / Waterford route, reducing the crossing time to nine hours.

 

In the early years the mail packets stopped at Dunmore East with passengers and mail transferred to Waterford by coach. In 1835 however, the service was extended to Waterford city, berthing at Adelphi Quay. In 1872 the Great Western Railway took over the running of the mail packet service and in 1906 the Milford terminal was closed with the Waterford steamers berthing at Fishguard. In 1934 the Great Western, the last of the Waterford-Fishguard mail packet steamers went into service carrying passengers, mail and cargo including live cattle. In 1959 the passenger service was discontinued, and in 1966 the service finally ended.

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