Ardmore (Irish: Aird Mhor , meaning “great height”) is a seaside resort and fishing village in County Waterford, Ireland, not far from Youghal on the south coast of Ireland, with a population of about 330, although this varies with the tourist season. It is believed to be the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland. Saint Declan lived in the region at some time in the period 350-450 AD and Christianised the area before the arrival Saint Patrick.

In September 2014, Ardmore on a list of Ireland’s top tourist cities consists of Fáilte Ireland. [1]


Ecclesiastical History

At the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111, was a recognition given to the Diocese of Ardmore, is said founded by Saint Declan, one of the Munster saint is said to have preceded Saint Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland. He was regarded as a patron saint of Deisi East Munster. [2] The Bishop of Ardmore swore allegiance to Henry II of England at Cashel, as a suffragan of the Archbishop in 1171. The last reference to an independent bishop in Ardmore dates to 1210, when Innocent III, it appears as one of Cashel eleven suffragan dioceses. [3]

No longer a residential bishop, Árd Mór is currently specified by the Catholic Church as an ordinary look. [4]

The church, which is now called for Ardmore and the Grange , is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. St Paul’s, an old Church of Ireland church in the village, is part of the parish Youghal.

church ruins

On a hill above the village is a well-preserved 30-m-high, 12-century round tower and the ruins of a cathedral dating from the 12th and 13th centuries [5] [6] with an adjacent 8th century oratory. One of the outer walls of the cathedral are some stone sculptures collected from a previous building 9th century. The carvings include a very early picture of a harp, images of Adam and Eve in the garden and a representation of “Solomon’s judgment”. The cathedral also contains two Ogham stones, resting in small alcoves. Some parts of the original structure can still be seen in the building. The present church Ireland church located near this complex.

Round tower and the ruins of St Declan’s church, Ardmore.

  • Ardmore Village
  • Ardmore Peninsula
  • Ardmore Peninsula
  • Ardmore Peninsula
  • Ardmore Peninsula
  • Ardmore Declan Place
  • Ardmore Church
  • Ardmore Church
  • Ardmore Church
  • Ardmore Bay
  • Round Tower of Ardmore (schematic)
  • Ardmore round tower on the crest of the County Waterford

maritime history

In recent decades, Ardmore lost its status as a fishing village fishing laws became more restrictive, and the traditional way of life received little consideration of EU and national legislators. Vital port development remains unpaid and larger vessels can not use the existing berths because of a lack of depth. But a small number of fishermen retain some of the old fishing practices as they continue to fish from Ardmore.

The Samson , a crane ship was wrecked on Ram Head, near the village, during December 1st storm in 1987 as it was being towed from Liverpool to Malta.Its wreck is now a popular diving spot. There are many other older wrecks in the bay area, including Marechal de Noailles , Bandon , Peri , Scotland ,Sextusa and Peg Tranton , and more recently, Anne Sophie , and Fee des Ondes. The remaining keel later wreck can still be seen at low tide on the beach.


The village has two hotels, a number of pubs and restaurants, a seasonal gas station, a jetty and slipway and a shop. There are also one or two sports and a primary school. Here is a mil-long beach, usually referred to as Main Beach and several other beaches, such as Goat Island, Ballyquin, Curragh, and Whiting Bay. Ardmore is a popular seaside resort, but has had difficulty maintaining its Blue Flag beach status because of an outdated sewer systems (early work on updating the system began in 2006) and modern agricultural practices that result in runoff from fields and then into the Gulf, especially in the village at the end of the beach. Paradoxically, the lack of a suitable modern sewage system slower pace of residential development in Ardmore compared to some other seaside villages in southeastern thus preserving much of its charm. Recently, a new hotel was completed, replacing the older Cliff Hotel. [ Citation needed ] In 1992, this village was the overall winner of the Irish Tidy Towns Competition.

There is a cliff path begins near Cliff House Hotel and ends back in the main street. The walk, which has the marker posts erected along the road passes an old converted Coast Guard Station, St Declan Cell and Holywell, a ruined church, the wreckage of Samson , an abandoned sjöbevaknings lookout from 1939-1945 and another, much older, utsiktstorn.Längre away there is another good thing about stone chapel, called Fr. O’Donnell’s Well. The Round Tower Complex is top of the mountain above the village.


  • The writer Molly Keane lived in Ardmore for many years and was buried there after her death in 1996. [7] She is buried next to the Church of Ireland church.
  • The American writer Nora Roberts has founded three of her books in Ardmore, making it a popular destination for American tourists.
  • The author and journalist Fergal Keane spent many family summer holiday in Ardmore, which he describes as “heaven on earth”. [8]
  • The British writer and radical journalist Claud Cockburn moved to Ardmore in 1947. [9]

Thurston family writer was once the owner of the house “Maycroft” and a plaque to this effect is mounted on the wall. Some of their novels were in places very similar to Ardmore.


The local Gaelic Athletic Association club is Ardmore GAA. Seamus Prendergast, a member of the club is also a member of Waterford hurling team and Wayne & Niall Hennessy members of the county football panel. A number of other players also play on the inter-county level U21. Seamus Keating has represented Ireland at U18 level in Rugby Union.


Ardmore is served daily by Bus Éireann route 260 linking it to, among other things, Youghal, Midleton and Cork. Until 2010, it was also served by route 362 which linked it to Waterford via Dungarvan. [10]

See also

  • List of towns and villages in Ireland


  1. Jump up ^ “Ireland’s Top 10 tourist cities announced” 8 September 2014.
  2. Jump up ^ Johnston, Eleven (2004). “Munster, saints (act. C .450- c0,700).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Oxford University Press, September 2004. Accessed: July 2014.
  3. Jump up ^ Aubrey Gwynn and RN Hadcock, medieval monasteries: Ireland: with an addition to the early sites (Longmans, 1970), p. 62.
  4. Jump up ^ annuario pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 838
  5. Jump ^ JT Smith, “Ardmore Cathedral” in The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland (vol. 102, no. 1, 1972) p. 10th
  6. Jump up ^ Peter Harbison, “architectural sculpture from the twelfth century in Ardmore” Irish Arts Review Yearbook (Vol. 11, 1995), pp. 100-101.
  7. Jump up ^ Thomas Jr., Robert McG. (24 April 1996). “Molly Keane, 91, a novelist, described the Anglo-Irish Gentry” .The New York Times.Retrieved 14 July 2008.
  8. Jump up ^ Irish Times August 20, 2008, page 13, an Irishman diary, Hugh Oram
  9. Jump up ^ Ann Morrow, picnic in a foreign country, Grafton Books, 1990
  10. Jump up ^