John’s Pill Waterford

Waterford’s St John’s Pill or river is a historic landmark in the development of the city. Initially, it was a major factor in Viking invaders choosing the area for their Longphort. The marshes it drained provided a strategic defence for the developing town too.

Later, as the town expanded, it was to these marshes the town looked both for settlement and for industry, much of it utilising the river for access, at least as far as Poleberry.

The meeting of the Johns Pill and the River Suir

In the Autumn/Winter of 2023/24 I worked on a paper to explore the river and the men that navigated it, from the mouth where sailing ships could enter as far as Georges Quay, and beyond this where the lightermen ruled.

This project was supported by Waterford City & County Council through the Local Authority Heritage Fund 2024. It is now available on the Council website at the following link.

Source – Britain from above circa 1932 with the Pill clearly marked as far as the William St bridge