Arklow Maritime Museum has been established for over 30 years, and has recently moved to its new, larger home in the Bridgewater Centre, overlooking the Avoca river and within a short walk of Arklow Harbour. The museum itself has been described as “one of the most valuable collections of maritime artefacts in the state” and is a treasure trove containing items, many brought back from far flung corners of the globe, all documenting the towns long association with the sea.
From as early as the 2nd century AD Arklow Town has appeared on the first maps produced by Ptolemy. Those great seafarers, the Vikings established the town as a permanent port in the 9th century, and this was consolidated by the Normans in the 12th Century . By the turn of the 20th century, Arklow was Ireland’s premier fishing port and had a fleet of 80 schooners, brigs and brigantines.
The Arklow Maritime Collection records a broad range of maritime history including the majestic tall ships to Australia, the great ocean liners to New York, the Battle of Trafalgar, the Battle of the Atlantic, the Irish merchant schooners and coasters and the lives of those involved. Material in the Collection is as diverse as a ladies shoe left on an Arklow fishing boat following its recovery of the dead when SS LUSITANIA was torpedoed in 1915, the wonderful builder’s model of Ireland’s National Sail Training brigantine, ASGARD 2, and material from the boat building industry in the town. Photographs of seamen and their ships cover the past two centuries, enormous rigging blocks, ship models and whales’ teeth; all combine to provide an authentic physical presence reflecting the past rich history for visitors.
The museum is open all year round, and can cater for school groups and other parties. Visit http://www.arklowmaritimemuseum.com/