The Wonder Wander Walking Trails were launched in the city and Cappoquin earlier this week. 

These trails have been produced by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, in association with Waterford City and County Council.

At the city launch in the Central Library, Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr Joe Conway highlighted that the trail shines a light on some of the lesser known architectural details of our streetscapes.  He mentioned buildings such as Christchurch Cathedral, The Port of Waterford building and the City Walls, but also noted the lovely details that we pass everyday such as the Art Noveau windows on the Baptist Church in Catherine Street, the ornate terracotta figures on Clyde House and the terraced houses such as those at St Otteran’s Place.

In Cappoquin, Deputy Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr Declan Doocey spoke about the historic shopfronts, which are the best in the county and referenced the ornamental details such shamrocks and flowers which are carved into the woodwork .

The launches concluded with a very informative walk along part of the trail conducted by John Beattie, NIAH.

Rose Ryall, Conservation Officer with Waterford City and County Council said that “the aim of these trails is to raise public awareness of our built heritage and to celebrate a sense of place by exploring the rich and diverse heritage of the Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA) in the historic cores of Cappoquin and Waterford City.”

Pop-up models at the events were produced by Kevin Moran of EZexploring and highlighted the variety of structure types in the city and Cappoquin.  Edel McWeeney-Moran from EZexploring spoke about the community workshops and the drop-in information sessions which were held in the city’s Central Library and Cappoquin Community Centre.

Edel said, “Engaging with local schools such as the 6th class students from St Declan’s primary school and the 3rd class students at Cappoquin Primary school was particularly rewarding. The video at the event showed the drawings the pupils produced of their favourite historic buildings.”

John Beattie from the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage explained the development of the trails and that this pilot project in Waterford and Meath will be rolled out elsewhere.  The final product launched is a self-guided walking route which includes points of interest ranging from regionally important buildings like churches to more modest buildings, reflecting the architecture and cultural heritage of the everyday. The map provides user friendly information on the points of interest with interpretative text illustrated by a combination of images and drawings The map also includes a scavenger hunt to get people out there analysing their streets and looking at them in a different way.

Copies of the trail maps are available at Cappoquin Community Centre, Lismore Library and Waterford Central Library and are also available on the ‘Places to Visit’ page on the NIAH website Buildings of Ireland: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage or at Built Heritage & Conservation - Waterford City & County Council (