In 2003 archaeological investigations along the route of a proposed road near Waterford city uncovered a large number of Viking artefacts including lead weights and silver ingots.
The site was in the townland of Woodstown, on the south bank of the river Suir west of Waterford city. From preliminary investigations, it appears to have been a Viking longphort, or ship fortress, similar to those described in the annals at locations such as Dublin and Annagassan. Excavation also revealed a Viking warrior burial containing a sword, spearhead, a ringed pin and a spear ferrule among other artefacts. Most of the artefacts in the grave indicate a ninth century date, which would correspond to the period in which the Vikings were establishing longphuirt in Ireland.
Only a portion of the site was excavated, after which it was decided that the road would be re-routed. A research excavation is planned and it is hoped that this will yield more information regarding the nature and duration of the Viking settlement here.
By: Maeve Sikora, National Museum of Ireland
O’Brien, R. Quinney, P. and Russell, I. 2005. Preliminary report on the Archaeological excavation and finds retrieval strategy of the Hiberno-Scandinavian site of Woodstown 6, Co. Waterford. Decies: Journal of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society 61, 13-122.