Shadows of the Past a photographic stroll through old Waterford began as an exhibition mounted by Waterford Civic Trust as part of the Tall Ships Festival in Waterford City during July 2005. The tremendous success of the Tall Ships for the city was mirrored in the success of the exhibition. The huge public response to these photographs prompted the Trust to publish Shadows of the Past.


The People's Park c1900

The People's Park, in area about 15 acres, was laid out in the period 1855 to 1857 during the mayoralty of Thomas Blake. The park was planned as an amenity for all the people of the city hence its name. Thanks to modern improvements,, in particular the development of a children's play area, it is as popular today as it was one hundred years ago.


Ballybricken Fair c1880

One of the earliest references to the existence of a market on Ballybricken was in 1680 when the Market House outside Saint Patrick's Gate was mentioned. Over a long period Ballybricken was the centre of the pig and bacon industry for which Waterford was famous. As early as 1831 there were twice weekly pig markets held on the Green.

The development of farming and the extension of the railways in the second half of the 19th century led to a system of monthly fairs being introduced. In 1853 there were three fairs held during the year in Ballybricken, the first on the 4th of May, the second on the Feast of St. John the Baptist on 24th June and the third, the onion fair, on 25th of October.

Noblest Quay c1900

The quays as viewed from slopes of Mount Misery (Mercy) in about 1900. The bridge (Timbertoes) 1793-1912 sets off the reach between Grattan Quay, with its rake of five-storey well proportioned warehouses. Sallypark in contrast, offers a homely, random array of housing and sheds.

Jarveys wait in hope c1915

Scene at Custom House Quay opposite the jetties used by Clyde Shipping Company vessels, some of which had passenger accommodation. The eager faces suggest a cross-Channel steamship has just arrived with the prospect of fares. Note the name "Whitty" on the nearest car.

Family day out in Tramore 1890

Tramore, from the Irish name meaning the big strand, became a very popular seaside resort for day-trippers from Waterford following the development of the Waterford/Tramore railway in 1853. It still remains the premier south coast seaside resort.

Woodstown Strand c1900

This beach is as popular today for bathing and cockle picking as it was in the nineteenth century.

Dunmore East c1900

Developed as an upmarket seaside resort following the introduction of the mail packet steamers in the early nineteenth century. Thomas Gimlette who wrote the History of the Huguenots lived here in a thatched cottage. Dunmore East is arguably the prettiest seaside village in Ireland and was the setting for the highly acclaimed Maeve Binchy's TV series Echoes.

Saratoga c1900

The Saratoga is the first and only public house in Woodstown. Local folklore offers two possible explanations why the pub is so named:
(1) Named after a race-track in upstate New York by a returned emigrant who made good money in the U.S.A. and purchased the premises.
(2) Named after an American sailing ship breached in Waterford Harbour in early 19th century.