Filed Under (6th Class, School Tours) by Mr. Ó Cathasaigh on 06-12-2013

Well done to Mairéad on a great write-up – here it is…

Our first event when we got into Waterford was the Georgian Christmas, i.e the Bishop’s Palace. We met Mr. Whatwye, the Georgian butler, on our way in. He introduced us and welcomed us to the Bishop’s Palace. He turned off the music that was playing just by clicking his fingers! He told us about the sedan chair, which was used to carry the Bishop around back in the day. It open at the top and sides, so that the Bishop wasn’t seen to bow his head at nothing! Mrs. Rickards, the Housekeeper, came in to tell us about “the hanging“. James Darcy was the brother and brother-in-law to a couple working in the Palace. Darcy killed his own brother and sister-in-law with arsenic. All because of money… We then proceeded upstairs with strict warnings from Mrs. Rickards not to touch her banister! Upstairs we saw different paintings, one of which was a painting of King William of Orange, who looked suspiciously like Rowan Atkinson… We then went into a room with three gilt-wood mirrors worth three hundred thousand euros! There were lots of different priceless articles like cut drop Waterford crystal, a lock of Napoleon Bonaparte’s hair, two sets of silver spoons and a priceless two hundred year old clock! I was impressed by the paintings and musical instruments in the Music Room – there were so many of them! We then concluded our tour, ate our little lunch, and were ready for the next part of our tour.

We then moved on to the Epic Tour. I have to say at first I wasn’t terribly excited at doing this, but I was pleasantly surprised. L. was appointed bell-ringer, but he didn’t do such a great job, so A. had to step in. Derek was our tour guide, and was CRAZY! We went in the door of Reginald’s Tower to see where they used to keep prisoners. We then went to Greyfriars where L. became Frances of Assisi, whilst Ch., i.e. Aoife, married Sh., i.e. Strongbow. They were told to hold hands, but it was too embarrassing! In Greyfriars we also talked about kings. K. was King Edward, while C. was King Henry. We had to boo at King Henry, because he never came to Waterford, and we had to cheer at King Edward, because he came to Waterford. We then went into the Medieval Museum where we met Maureen, who we had to say hello to. B. got to sit on the Mayor’s chair, which is carved from the wood from a, now demolished, bridge – lucky duck! We then went back to our starting point, outside the Bishop’s Palace. We then learned about William Mackey who was a chemist who helped solve the murder of the couple in the Bishop’s Palace using science. He was one of the first people in the world to do that. M. was Mackey, and cheered at him, while A. was Darcy and we booed at him! That was the end of that tour, though we still had one more after we ate big lunch!

All the girls came slightly later than anyone else at the Yule Viking Christmas, as we were in the loos. We got a private tour of it! Yay! We talked a bit about the Vikings coming to Ireland, and Waterford, (known as Vadre Fjord in Viking language), as we imagined what the banks of the Suir would have looked like at the time. We also learned about Viking food, as we saw fruit, nuts, a pig’s head and some Siucra sugar surprisingly – a real antique! The Vikings used all parts of the animals they killed as things certainly were not in abundance where they were from. We saw a wood turning gizmo, which created things as good as a modern machine would do. It was all just made out of wood, sticks and string. We then saw a Viking blacksmith, complete with an anvil and a bellow. The next bit was my favourite bit – weapons! We held blunt swords which would have been used by chieftains, a wooden dagger for boys over ten, a blunt axe, a helmet and some chain-mail. The chain-mail was really heavy, and I can’t imagine wearing that all over me! We finished the tour by writing in the comment book. I wrote in it with the help of Catherine, Eimear and Luwanda, we wrote, “Great tour, loved the pig’s head. xx“.

Couldn’t fault it or any other part of the tour.

Mairéad Butler, Mr. Ó Cathasaigh’s 6th