|Organisation :||Dungarvan Tourist Information, Co. Waterford, Ireland|
|Article Title :||Ardmore|
|Page Title :||Introduction|
|Page Number :||1|
|Publication Date :||23 May 2009|
|Expiry Date :||Never Expires|
|Category :||Towns & Villages|
Location: Find Ardmore On Google Maps
Photo by Claire Flavin and Aerial Photos by Jamie Malone
Ardmore is the oldest Christian Settlement in Ireland, founded by St. Declan circa 416 AD., before the arrival of St. Patrick. St. Declan's feast day is celebrated on 'Pattern Day' every 24th of July. The village is most picturesque and its neatness has won Ardmore many awards, including the national title in the Tidy Towns Competition. Ardmore boasts a wide range of accommodation and so is a most pleasant place to stay and enjoy the fun in the pubs and the excellent food in the restaurants. Visitors have five lovely beaches to choose from.
The Round Tower and Cathedral overlook Ardmore Bay in a beautiful elevated position above the village and is the site of St. Declan's monastery. The 12th Century Tower is 29m high and is the best example of an Irish Round Tower. The carvings on the West Gable of the Cathedral are special to Ardmore and depict Biblical scenes as well as scenes from the early Christianisation of Ardmore The Beannachan, St. Declan's Oratory, is the reputed burial place of St. Declan and is the oldest building in the monastic site.
If the mood and the day match, take the lovely cliff walk, a 5k waymarked way which takes about 1 hour to walk. This is a circular route which runs by Ram Head passing the Coastguard Station (1867), the Castle (1867) the Lookout Post (1940) used during World War II by coast watch personnel to log all ships and aircraft which passed. It had a telephone connection to the village post office. Further on is Father O'Donnell's Well, built by a Mr. Rahilly in 1925 who found the waters of the well to have great curative properties especially for eye ailments.
At the beginning of the cliff walk is St. Declan's Well which served as a Baptistery to the primitive Christian missionaries Nearby is St. Declan's hermitage where Declan retired for greater seclusion to a little cell which he made himself at the spot where now is the ruined church beside the Holy Well. A map with a reference guide is available free of charge from the Ardmore Tourist Office which operates daily from 11am-5pm.
Another walk of much longer duration is St. Declan's Way. This is a modern Waymarked walking route from Ardmore in Co. Waterford to Cashel in Co. Tipperary. It crosses the Knockmealdown Mountains via a high (537m.) pass - Bearna Cloch an Bhuideil. The Way is 94 Kilometres, (56 miles) in length.
There are historic links between St. Declan of Ardmore and Cashel, seat of the Kings of Munster at that time. Cashel became an important religious site in the 11th Century and there is a tradition of pilgrimage between them. Pilgrims on foot followed the trading routes of the day; in this case parts of St Declan's Road, Casan na Naomh (Path of the Saints), Bothar na Naomh (Road of the Saints) and the Rian Bo Phadraig (Trach of St.Patrick's Cow). The modern St. Declans Way is as faithful as possible in following the route of these ancient highways.
In November, 2014, Ardmore was a joint winner in Category 2 of the IPB Pride Of Place Awards. The following is an extract from the Pride of Place Awards Website, here's what they had to say about Ardmore:
Ardmore was also 'Commended' in the presentation of Ireland's 'Top Tourism Town' in the Small Town Category of the Tidy Towns/Fáilte Ireland 'Tourism Towns Award' 2014.
© 2009 Dungarvan Tourism. All Rights Reserved.