Reginald's Tower Museum, County Waterford
Reginalds Tower is a circular tower, part of the town's defences, built in the beginning of the 13th century, with a second phase in the 15th century. It was also used as a mint, prison and military store. It has been restored and now houses an exhibition. Reginald's Tower is the oldest civic urban structure in Ireland and has played a pivotal role in the country's history. The precursor of this tower is believed to be Dundory, a Viking fortification built on this site during the 10th Century.
This early fort formed the apex of the triangular Viking settlement and was in all probability a port for Viking longboats. During the medieval period the tower continued to be surrounded by water both to the north and the south east. When the Anglo-Normans attacked Waterford in 1170 the tower was of strategic importance and its capture heralded the fall of the city. It was in this tower that Strongbow, the leader of the Anglo-Norman invasion force, met Aoife, the daughter of Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster. Their marriage was to change the course of Irish history forever.
In later centuries the Tower took on the functions of a royal castle. During the 17th and 18th centuries the Tower was used as a store for munitions and in the early 19th century it functioned as a prison. In the late 19th and first half of the twentieth century it became the residence of the Chief Constable of Waterford. The Tower was opened to the public for the first time in the 1950s.
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