Nautical Tales

Stories of marine life, shipwrecks, life boats and coastal communities of wider interest to those interested in maritime and nautical themes.

Mariners' Church, Kingstown in the Nineteenth Century

The Mariners’ Church, Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire) which is today the home of Ireland’s National Maritime Museum was once the principal Church of Ireland in the town. It was a thriving church throughout the nineteenth century with its local…

The Ballad of the Tinnaberna Fishermen

County Wexford is no stranger to the musical tradition of ballads and the county possesses a rich and varied repertoire of verse. Given the long stretch of coastline that runs along Wexford county and the tradition of fishing, especially for herring,…

Hidden Caves of Portrane

In years gone by in Ireland, there had to be taxes paid on certain goods as tobacco and wine coming from foreign lands to Ireland. But the people who were poor at the time they could not afford to be paying tax on these goods. They often decided to…

Lore from the Wexford Coast

The Irish Sea coastline of County Wexford is encrusted with the folklore, knowledges, practices and cultural connections of its people. When the children of the Schools' Collection interviewed elderly relatives and members of the community, they…

Folklore of the Alfred D. Snow Wreck

The coastal folklore of County Wexford is punctuated with shipwrecks, stories of assistance rendered and loss of life despite the best efforts of rescuers. The wreck of the Alfred D. Snow stands out across the lore of a wide variety of communities…

Folklore and Music Traditions of Wexford Harbour

Sailing ships needed large crews and a seafarer tradition became an important source of employment in Wexford in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The fishing industry thrived, and with it the prosperity of this coastal community. By 1788…

Tuskar Rock Folklore

The Tuskar Rock Lighthouse stands on a rocky islet 11.3km or 7 miles off the south east corner of the island of Ireland. The lighthouse was constructed to warn ships of what has long been a graveyard of sailors, part of a band of treacherous waters…

Hook Peninsula

With Waterford Harbour to the west, Slade Bay to the east, and the Irish Sea to the south, Hook Peninsula is the southern most point of County Wexford. Like a sentry guarding passage, Hook Lighthouse stands 100 feet high, with walls of remarkable…

The Incident of the Whale

One day a sailor fell overboard. It happened that there was a whale nearby. The sailor fell into the whale's mouth. When the whale swallowed the sailor he found a case of oranges inside. He took out his knife and he cut a hole in the whale's side.…

The Irish Sea and Atlantic Slavery

Nearly 5,000 slaving expeditions left Liverpool between the 1690s and the closure of the British slave trade in 1807. The scale and duration of the trade was such that it could not fail to affect ports and their hinterlands on both sides of the…

The Haunting of the HMS Asp | Ysbryd yn cerdded HMS Asp

In 1857, Pembroke Dock was the setting for the remarkable climax of the haunting of the HMS Asp which, at the time, was used as a surveying vessel in the Royal Navy under the command of one Captain George Manley Alldridge (1815–1905). Over the…