A large number of building types were identified and recorded in the course of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) survey of the architectural heritage of County Waterford, carried out in 2003. The results of this survey can be accessed on the Internet at: www.buildingsofireland.ie The links below were selected from the above website and only refer to the architectural heritage that can be found in the Copper Coast.
Lime kilns are quite common along the Copper Coast. They can be seen at Stradbally Cove, Annestown, Boatstrand and some ruins are also visible at Ballyvoyle Bridge. Coal and limestone were loaded into enclosed chambers. The coal was then ignited and the air intake carefully controlled to reduce the limestone to pure lime. This was drawn off through the arches at the base of the kiln and used as lime mortar in buildings, or for agricultural lime to reduce soil acidity. The kilns were frequently built along the coast to facilitate import of coal and limestone by sea.
Lime Kiln In Stradbally
The kiln at Stradbally is built of locally derived rocks, probably obtained from the cliffs in the cove: the walls from green andesite and the arches from grey slate. Note the distinction between the original off-white coloured lime mortar and the much darker grey, and much harder, modern “Portland Cement” used in recent repairs.
Lime Kiln In Annestown
The kiln in Annestown has been built largely out of locally derived green andesite. Dressed blocks of limestone have been used to construct the archway and some corner stones. Some recycled bricks are noticeable.These bricks were produced from red clays, originally deposited in ephemeral lakes in an ancient desert. Traces of a lime mortar plaster are evident on parts of the walls, suggesting that the kiln was originally covered entirely by plaster.
Dunhill (Dún Aile) means a circular earthen fort on top of the cliff implying celtic origins. About 1200, the French-speaking Norman de la Poer family took over the area and, quarrying the cliff, built a strong stone castle here around which a medieval settlement grew, complete with church to the north-west.
Little is known of the first century in Dunhill castle but the Powers (as they came to be called) contributed to the breakdown of law and order in the 1300s. They formed an alliance with pirates from west Cork called O’Driscolls. Between them, they robbed and plundered traders to and in Waterford city.
Something happened about 1500 which made necessary the rebuilding of the central tower, and at about the same time, a defensive tower was erected beside the church. The violence, which made these necessary, kept recurring. Its final phase was around 1650 with the arrival of Oliver Cromwell.
The story is that Cromwell’s siege was repelled by gunners on the castle roof under the direction of Lady Power. As Cromwell’s forces marched away, the defending men called for a drink, having in mind something stronger than the buttermilk Lady Power sent them. In disgust, they called back the besieging troops. Cromwell is said to have ordered the destruction of the defenses and execution of the garrison. This may be true as the castle was never inhabited again and has been a picturesque ruin for over 350 years. A storm in 1912 destroyed a significant section of it so that what now remains is only a shadow of its fearsome former self.