Waterford Treasures Museums

The Waterford Treasures Museums are five museums of historical artefacts associated with the city of Waterford.

There are five museums in the Viking Triangle collectively known as Waterford Museum of Treasures. Its collection includes the 14th Century Waterford Charter Roll. These are: 

The Medieval Museum

Reginald’s Tower

Bishop’s Palace – Treasures of Georgian Waterford

 Irish Museum of Time 

Irish Silver Museum

Scroll down for information on each Museum.

The Medieval Museum

Currently ranked as the #3 visitor attraction in Waterford on TripAdvisor.com, the award-winning Medieval Museum is situated between Cathedral Square and the Bishop’s Palace in the heart of the Viking Triangle.

The Medieval Museum incorporates the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and a 15th century wine vault and takes visitors back to the great age of faith and chivalry. This multi-award winning museum is a tribute to medieval life in Waterford.

The museum galleries feature some of the great treasures of medieval Ireland and Europe, including the unique 4 metre long illustrated Great Charter Roll of Waterford (1373) as well as the sumptuous cloth-of-gold vestments (1460).

The Medieval Museum was officially opened on Thursday, 28th March 2013, by An Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) Enda Kenny

Quick Facts

  • Open daily year-round
  • Two minute walk from Bolton Street Car Park, Reginald’s Tower, the Bishop’s Palace, Tourist Office and House of Waterford Crystal
  • Guided tours with our professional tour guides will last about 45 minutes – do allow an hour in your schedule for your tour
  • 3 audio visual presentations
  • Europe’s only complete set of medieval cloth-of-gold vestments
  • Ireland’s largest display of medieval royal charters including the Great Charter Roll of 1373, viewed by Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Ireland
  • Gift shop
  • Wheelchair accessible; coach set down


Reginald’s Tower

Waterford boasts the largest collection of medieval walls and towers in the country with Reginald’s Tower being the most impressive of the six towers still standing. Reginald’s Tower stands at the apex of the Viking Triangle (the name given to the area of the city first settled by the Vikings in 914 AD).

The tower houses a permanent exhibition on the treasures of Viking Waterford, including the 9th century sword and weapons from a Viking warrior’s grave and the magnificent Waterford Kite Brooch – the finest example of gold and silver secular metalwork in Ireland. Reginald’s Tower was also used as a mint, prison and military store.

An audio-visual presentation on the top floor outlines the history of Reginald’s Tower.

Reginald’s Tower is managed by the Office of Public Works.

Quick Facts

  • Open all year
  • January – early March: Wednesday – Sunday – 9:30 – 17:00
  • Late March – mid December: Daily – 9:30 – 17:30
  • Last admission 30 mins before closing
  • Average length of visit – 1 hour
  • Please note there is no disabled access to the upper floors of Reginald’s Tower


Bishop’s Palace – Treasures of Georgian Waterford

The Bishop’s Palace in Cathedral Square was magnificently conserved in 2010/11 and opened as a museum in June 2011, displaying the treasures of Georgian and Victorian Waterford. The ground and first floors are laid out as a historic house with some of the finest displays in Ireland of 18th century glass, silver, furniture and paintings. The oldest piece of Waterford Glass in the world – the Penrose decanter – is a highlight. The top floor continues the story up to 1970 ending with the Hucklebuck shoes.

The present palace, built on the site of several previous palaces, was commissioned by Bishop Charles Este in 1743 to the design of Richard Cassel. However, Cassel soon departed the project to build Leinster House. This led to the palace being completed by the Waterford architect-builder ‘Honest’ John Roberts, who built so many of Waterford’s fine buildings in the 1700s.

Este’s letter to Archbishop Bolton of Cashel requesting permission to build a new palace is on display in the Bishop’s Palace near a fine portrait of him. Este writes that the existing palace is in ‘so ruinous a condition that part of it has fallen down … and what is left is so small and dangerous to live in’ that he had to hire another house to live in. He specifies the dimensions and materials he intends to use.

The Bishop’s Palace is a fine Palladian building faced on both sides in Leinster limestone. The two main facades are quite different: one having seven bays – the central bay having an more elaborate window treatment and a Gibbsian doorway; the other facade has eight bays with a more elaborate entrance and shallow pediment with blank niches. The medieval city wall was lowered on the garden/the Mall side of the building to make a ‘great terrace’ and gardens as befitting a gentleman’s elegant townhouse in the 18th century.

The Bishop’s Palace functioned as the residence of the Anglican bishops of Waterford from 1743 to 1919, becoming then the boarding school of the Bishop Foy School until 1967 when it was acquired by Waterford City Council for offices until 2010.

Launched in June 2019, the exciting new 4D ‘Masterpieces in Glass’ experience, which traces the history of glass making in the city from the Penrose family in the 1700s to the modern day is now included in the guided tour of the palace.

Quick Facts

  • Open daily year-round
  • One minute walk from Bolton Street Car Park, Medieval Museum, Christ Church Cathedral and House of Waterford Crystal
  • Guided tours with our professional tour guides will last about 45 minutes – do allow an hour in your schedule for your tour
  • Remarkable collection of 18th century Irish furniture, glass, silver and paintings
  • Oldest piece of historic Waterford glass in existence dating to the 1789
  • Display of memorabilia of Thomas Francis Meagher
  • 4D ‘Masterpieces in Glass’ experience
  • Resident artist: Sean Egan Art Glass, virtuoso copper-wheel engraving on glass, keeping alive the great tradition of glass craftsmanship in Waterford
  • Café with sun terrace
  • Wheelchair accessible; coach set down
Irish Museum of Time 

Ireland’s National Horological Museum features the oldest Irish-made grandfather clocks, table clocks and watches in the world and celebrates the incredible skills of the virtuoso craftsmen who, since the seventeenth century, created timepieces of remarkable beauty and technological genius. The collection is not limited to Ireland, also on display are early European timepieces, some dating back to the mid-sixteenth century along with a display of clocks and watches from Switzerland, England, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Russia and as far away as Japan. A highlight of the collection is the London made William Clement clock from 1663, the earliest example in the world of his innovative mechanism which transformed accurate timepiece-making for subsequent generations. Working turret clocks from the 1590s and 1760s help both children and adults to explore the complex mechanisms, and a special section of the exhibition called ‘How it works’ is bound to engage young minds and foster a burgeoning interest in science.

Time is the most commonly used noun in the English language and for thousands of years, humans have been obsessed with the passage and recording of time. Time is one of the most elusive of all phenomena, it regulates our everyday lives, it makes revered heroes out of Olympic athletes and yet, for those serving time, it is a heavy burden. The accurate measurement of time made was possible by the industrial and technological revolutions and while it was vital for regulating daily life, in the case of sailors out at sea, accurate time was the difference between life and death. The story of how Ireland made the leap from sundials to enormous turret clocks and finally achieved the most accurate clocks and watches is told in this spectacular new museum.

Visit the museum today and learn about not just the story, but also the science of time.

The museum was made possible thanks to the remarkable generosity of David Boles, Colman Curran and Elizabeth Clooney whose lifelong collections were gifted to the museum.

Irish Silver Museum

The first part of the museum takes the visitor on a journey through Irish history using beautiful, intimate and personal objects as a guide to the fascinating story of Ireland from the arrival of the Vikings to Ireland’s entry into the EEC in 1973. Highlights include the Waterford Kite brooch, a sword granted to the city by Edward IV, silver which belonged to the famous writer Jonathan Swift, pieces from the most famous houses and powerful families in Ireland’s history as well as medals and commemorative pieces from the biggest military conflicts of our past. The earliest pieces connect to Waterford’s Viking heritage and thanks to their role as expert seafarers the collection includes a silver coin made in modern-day Iraq in 742, which found its way to Waterford in about 850.

As Ireland is a nation of tea and coffee drinkers and lovers of chocolate, the second part of the museum charts its course through the elaborate ceremonies that surrounded these exotic luxuries when they were first introduced in the seventeenth century. Examples from the most talented Irish silversmiths show how even a simple cup of tea could be transformed into a statement of status, sophistication and wealth. The work of silversmiths from Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Youghal, Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir are featured as well as pieces from some of Ireland’s rare female silversmiths from the eighteenth century.

Dining was the ultimate theatrical experience a celebration of extravagance and generosity. An eighteenth-century dining table groans under a glittering display of silver intended to strike awe into even the most sophisticated guests. Even a humble pint of beer became a luxury experience with heavy silver tankards and the elaborate toasting ceremonies of the period.

Step into the opulence of our ostentatious past at the Museum of Irish silver and see the story of Ireland told through the medium of this precious metal today.

This museum was made possible by the remarkable generosity of the Frisby family.

King of the Vikings – The World’s First Viking Virtual Reality 3D Adventure

TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice ‘Best of the Best’ 2020

Take a step back in time as Viking Ireland comes to life right before your eyes as you don the special headset.  Be enthralled witnessing epic voyages and battles within this authentic reproduction Waterford Viking-Age house. 

This unique exhibition brings you up close and personal with the Viking warlords who founded Waterford Ireland’s oldest city! Housed in a replica Viking house within the atmospheric ruins of a medieval monastery in the heart of the Viking city. Next to Reginald’s Tower where the Treasures of Viking Waterford and a fullsize Viking longship. Available in English, French and German. 

For further information and bookings go to http://www.kingofthevikings.com/

The parent body of Waterford Treasures is Waterford City and County Council
The parent body of Waterford Treasures is Waterford City and County Council

Contact Details

Medieval Museum, Cathedral Square, Viking Triangle, Waterford, X91 K10E

GPS coordinates:


+353 (0)51 849501




Opening Hours

Visit https://www.waterfordtreasures.com for further information about the Opening Hours and Admission Prices for all five Museums