Waterford, town (1991 pop. 41,853), seat of Co. Waterford, S Republic of Ireland, on the Suir River near the head of Waterford Harbour. The port town is a center for the export of fruit, meat, and the famous Waterford crystal. Other industries are fishing, food processing, and the manufacture of footwear and fertilizers. The making of crystal and glass, predominant in the 18th cent., died out in the mid-19th cent. but has since been revived. Established very early as a walled Danish settlement, Waterford was taken in 1170 by Richard, earl of Pembroke, who used Reginald's Tower (built 1003; still standing) as a fort. King John granted the first charter in the 13th cent. In 1618 the charter was withdrawn because the people refused to accept the religious supremacy of the king of England. Waterford was besieged by Oliver Cromwell in 1649 and taken by Henry Ireton in 1650. The area contains remains of 13th-century Franciscan and Dominican foundations that were suppressed in the 16th cent.; there are also Protestant and Roman Catholic cathedrals. Waterford is the seat of the united Protestant dioceses of Cashel, Emly, Waterford, and Lismore and of the Roman Catholic dioceses of Waterford and Lismore. St. John's College is a Protestant theological seminary.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography