Towns of Waterford
Dungarvan —County Waterford
Dungarvan is the administrative capital for County Waterford. It is a bustling market town in a high tourist amenity area. Although there is some dispute about monastic and early Viking settlement in the Dungarvan area, the town owes its foundation to the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century. Their motte and bailey at Gallows Hill to the west of the town still survives. A charter was granted by King John in 1215 and the town prospered until it was destroyed in 1582, after which it declined. Because of its strategic location, Dungarvan was the focus for many 17th century battles. It never regained its medieval prosperity as it lacked the amenities of a good trading port. The Duke of Devonshire engaged in a programme of rebuilding at the turn of the 19th century and Dungarvan today owes much of its shape to that period. Relative prosperity returned, but was short lived, as the great famine of the 1840s had a devastating effect.
Despite some further setbacks Dungarvan today is a thriving commercial and tourist town and is an ideal centre for touring the Comeragh Mountains and the Ring Peninsula.