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Bishop’s Palace


"The Mall is a beautiful walk, about 200 yards long… facing it stands the Bishop’s Palace, which not only adds a considerable beauty ... the Palace is a fine building of hewn stone, with two fronts, that next to the Mall is beautifully ornamented with a handsome portico." (Charles Smith’s History, 1746)

Enjoy a re-enactor-led tour through the treasures and scandals of 18th century Waterford and explore the beginnings of glass making in Waterford through our exciting 4D Audio Visual Experience. The Bishop’s Palace in Cathedral Square was magnificently conserved in 2010/11 and opened as a museum in June 2011, displaying the treasures of Georgian and Victorian Waterford. This exquisite architectural jewel, now a museum, continues to delight over 250 years later, the ground and first floors furnished as a very elegant 18th-century townhouse, with some of the finest displays in Ireland of 18th-century glass, silver, furniture and paintings. The oldest piece of Waterford Glass in the world – the Penrose decanter – is a highlight.

The top floor continues the story up to 1970 ending with the Hucklebuck shoes. Galleries cover the historic suburb of Ballybricken, the heartland of John Redmond’s support, the struggle for Irish independence and the early Irish State, the First World War, through the 1940s and 1950s, the Showband years and Waterford Sporting Heroes.

Clock opening times

Learn more
  • Monday to Friday9:00 am — 5:00 pm
  • Saturday10:00 am — 5:00 pm
  • Sunday11:00 am — 5:00 pm
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Join us for lunch at the Bishop's Palace Café

After your visit to the museum, stroll across and enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee in the Bishop’s Palace Café or on the adjoining terrace overlooking the 13th-century town wall, in the heart of the Viking Triangle. A full brunch menu, excellent coffee and a wide array of delicious cakes are also available.

Bishop's Palace

collection highlights

The Bishop’s Palace in Cathedral Square opened as a museum in June 2011, displaying the treasures of Georgian and Victorian Waterford

Penrose Decanter 1789 1 1
The oldest surviving piece of Waterford glass in the world.

This decanter made in 1789 has the wide pouring lip common to most Penrose decanters and a three-ring neck

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What’s on

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The MET Gala: Monroe, Kardashian and textile conservationists

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Waterford and Wine Through the Centuries

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Who did good and prayed for all. And banished the Devil from Loftus Hall

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Winner alright, Winner alright!

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New Geneva – The Town That Never Was

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Inaugural ‘Waterford International Festival of Time’ announced coming May 2022

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The Viking Slave Trade in Ireland

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‘Back for the Irish Nation…’: The Withdrawal of British Forces from Waterford City 1922

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Great Calligraphy Festival to celebrate the Art of Writing in Waterford – the Great Parchment Book

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Stephen de Fulbourn – The Money Was Only Resting In His Account

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‘A CYCLING CARNIVAL’: Ireland v England, People’s Park, Waterford – 11th August 1891

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A Pirate’s Life For Me – The Real Lives of Munster Pirates

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So, What’s the deal with Sea Shanties?

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Davy Walsh: Waterford-born Linfield Legend

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Spring Heeled Jack: Notorious Urban Legend or the work of the ‘Mad Marquess’ of Waterford?

Reginald’s Tower – Once, Twice, Three Times a Prison

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The Siege of Waterford 1495

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Paddy Coad: The Greatest Irish Player Never to Play in England

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Lionel Richardson: ‘the greatest daffodil grower in the world’

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Urban Squalor in Georgian Waterford: Filth, Falls and Fever.

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Bringing Home the Bacon – Food in Medieval Ireland

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Danny Morgan: Cheltenham Gold Cup Winning Jockey & Trainer

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Freemasons in Ireland (and Further Afield)

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Concubines and ‘lady wives’: the family life of the British officer in the early days of the Raj

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What’s in a name? The story of where Denny’s sausages got their gold medal

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Celtic Squash Club: A ‘great Waterford nursery’

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The Lost Eleven Days of 1752

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Bullion, Bands and Brooches: Silver Culture during the Viking Age

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The Longitude Problem – How One Man Saved Sea Travel With A Watch

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Bliain an Áir: The forgotten famine of 1740-41

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Field Marshal Lord Frederick Sleigh Roberts: A Life Under the Microscope

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Crotty the Robber – A Waterford Legend

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Tainted by the Stain of Original Sin: Irish Participation in the Atlantic Slave Trade

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The Show-Stopping, Chart-Topping Career of Brendan Bowyer

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Murder in the Palace! Dastardly Darcy and the Doctor who played Detective

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Tea: The Origins of Our National Drink

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The French Connection: Letitia Bonaparte Wyse

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Crusades, Conspiracies and Coercion: The Knights Templar in Waterford

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A Feast or a Famine: the eating habits of the rich in the eighteenth century

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Charles Stewart Parnell: Irish nationalist & lost English cricketer?

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The Jail Wall Disaster

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The Festival of Bealtaine: Traditional Piseogs and practices for May Day

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The Devil’s Drink and Disturber of the Peace: The History of Coffee in Ireland

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The Easter Rising of 1916: Four Waterford Volunteers

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The 1918 Flu Pandemic in Ireland

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Georgian January: The Slightly Saucy Fairytale of Dorothea Jordan

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The Burning of Bridget Cleary: Witches, Fairies and the Danger of Superstition

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Waterford and the last Great Auk of Ireland

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Crazy Cures for Ancient Ailments: Medieval Medicine in Ireland

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Luke Wadding: The Man who gave us St. Patrick’s Day

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A Very Victorian Funeral: Weird Waterfordians

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Embroidering the Truth: Sailors and the Art of the Sea

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The Exile of Diarmuid Mac Murchada

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Morbid Monuments: The Great Plague and the Cadaver Tomb

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A Stitch in Time – The long history of the wristwatch

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Rivalries, Royals and Rabbits: The Art of Waterford’s Great Charter Roll

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The Helen of Ireland: The Abduction of Derbforgaill Iníon Maechleachlainn

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Suirside Silver: 2004 FAI Cup runners-up medal

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The Christmas Truce of 1914

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Murder Aboard the Earl of Sandwich: The Pirates of Dollar Bay

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A Viking Christmas: Yule in Vadrarfjordr

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A Saturnalia Miracle! the Pagan Origins of Christmas

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Object in Focus – Irish Elk Antlers

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It’s About Time – The man who accidentally became a clock-maker to the King of Spain

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It’s About Time – The first watches!

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The Bishop Atherton Conspiracy

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Object in Focus Part 2: The Irish Elk Antlers and Victorian Conservation Efforts

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Man’s Best Friend: The long history of the Irish Wolfhound

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Got a Sweet Tooth? The Scandalous Beginnings of Hot Chocolate

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What’s in a word? Viking influences on Irish language

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nThe Déise

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A New Year in New York – The history of the Waterford Crystal Times Square Ball!

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Thomas Francis Meagher and the Fighting 69th

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Tell it to the Bees: Brehon Beekeepers

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Was Anne Boleyn born in Carrick on Suir?

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Medieval Mead and Waterford Whiskey: A history of Spirits in Waterford

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A Corrupt Corporation: The Newport/ Alcock agreement of 1818

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Cruel Fates and ‘Unnatural Mothers’ – Abandoned Children in Georgian Waterford

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Royal Connections – A Chronicle of Waterford’s Royal Visits

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Oliver Cromwell and the Siege of Waterford in 1649

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Bishop's Palace

Facilities & access

Plan your visit to Bishop's Palace

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Parking & on-street parking 3 minutes away

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There’s a café inside the museum

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Cloakroom facilities at the reception desk

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There are toilets inside the museum

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Baby changing facilities & Pushchair/Strollers available

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Catering for visitors with varying abilities

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Seating, mobile stools & wheelchairs available

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Lift/elevators give access to the entire museum

plan your visit

A must visit

This is a great small museum and has a great range of artifacts of historical importance, highly recommended when visiting Waterford

Peter White

5 months ago

A memorable visit

Wow..we never expected such a gem in a smaller town….so many unique and ancient items….Henry VIII hat and sword and the cloth of gold vestments.


6 months ago

Great museum, A must-see for all ages!

No need to worry about lines and DO purchase the Freedom Pass ticket which gives you admission to most of the museums in the Medieval Triangle. It’s only a few Euros more than the single ticket price and you get to see all the important places. All of the staff are welcoming and wonderful. We were there on a Sunday, so basically had few other tourists and could take our time. We also were glad we went to the Bishop’s Palace which is not at all what we thought it would be. We had a wonderful re-enactor perform as the housekeeper to guide us on our tour. So much richer to experience the house this way! I loved the Silver Museum and my husband and I both enjoyed the Time Museum. Thank you to the wonderful staff!


7 months ago

Don’t miss the Bishop’s Museum, Waterford

The Bishop’s Museum was unexpectedly comprehensive and thought-provoking. We expected to see beautiful vintage Waterford crystal and lovely furnishings, which we did, but the historical displays of Ireland’s role in WWI and Waterford’s role in the Easter Rising were most enlightening. Be sure to check out the excellent and detailed trench emplacement diorama honouring the men of the Irish and Ulster brigades. Not to be missed is the innovative 3-D video presentation dramatizing the history of Waterford crystal. Lovely, friendly, most accommodating ladies staff the museum which also has a pleasant tearoom for lunch too. On the only rainy day of our visit, the Bishop’s Museum was the perfect place to spend a couple of very worthwhile hours.


9 months ago

Iconic Viking stronghold

It was unfortunate that when we visited the exhibition of artefacts had been removed to a Dublin museum due to the restoration of the building. However, it did not detract from the historical significance of this building which is well recorded in guidebooks. Climbing the circular stone staircase up the three levels was well worth it.


6 months ago

Wide range of Irish silversmiths' craftsmanship through the ages

Display of Irish silver freely donated by Irish silver collectors. Excellent presentation with descriptions of each exhibit. The variety of exhibits and the craftsmanship of their makers is exceptional. Also, a video outlining important events in Irish history. The exhibits are sparklingly clean as they are housed in air-tight cases.


6 months ago

A Different Way to Learn About Viking Life!

After dragging my kids to several museums and hikes, I wanted to find something for them to do that was up their alley - and this TOTALLY was! My sons, ages 16, 9 and 9 all were completely absorbed in this unique activity. I wasn't sure what to expect but you just go into a recreated long house and after a short lesson, you put on a VR headset and watch a 30-minute program that teaches you about the Viking History of Ireland and it feels like you're actually living it! It was my first VR experience and I thought it was super well done! Highly recommended for history buffs, especially, or anyone that likes learning in an interactive way.


11 months ago

A unique experience in the heart of the Viking triangle

We accidentally stumbled upon this museum just before last admission. It was one of those happy accidents! We were astonished by this unique museum and its impressive collection of watches and clocks from all around the world and other artefacts. The museum staff was very kind and informative. If you might be hesitating, because you think it‘s a boring museum about clocks, don‘t. It‘s very modern and interestingly made. Even if you don‘t care about the history of the clocks, they are still nice to look at. Also suitable for small children. If you ever happen to be in Waterford, definitely visit this museum! You will find yourself in another world:)


7 months ago


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    Getting there

    Medieval Museum 96px 02

    Medieval Museum

    Cathedral Square, The Viking Triangle, Waterford, X91 K10E, Ireland

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    IRISH MUSEUM of silver 96px 05

    Irish Silver Museum

    Irish Silver Museum, Cathedral Square, Waterford, Ireland

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    Irish Museum Of Time 96px 04

    The Irish Museum of Time

    Irish Museum of Time, Greyfriar's, Waterford, Ireland

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    Bishops Palace 96px 01

    Bishop’s Palace

    Bishop's Palace, The Mall, Viking Triangle, Waterford, X91 E279, IRELAND.

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    King of the Vikings

    King Of The Vikings, Bailey's New Street, Waterford, Ireland

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    Reginalds Tower 96px 03

    Reginald’s Tower

    Reginald's Tower, The Quay, Waterford, Ireland

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