Conservation Projects

Flood Wall At The Strand

Short description of project and its aim

To conserve a 19th Century flood barrier at an area known locally as the Strand adjacent to the Owenashad river. The work was carried out by Mr. John O’ Neill, Stone Mason, using traditional skills funded by local employment services, Waterford Leader Partnership, Lismore Tidy Towns and with the support of Waterford County Council. The aim of Lismore Tidy Towns was to conserve a part of the town’s built heritage and ensure its survival into the future.

Working on the project

Part of the work was used as a training scheme for unemployed people in stone work using traditional skills, under the supervision of Mr. O’ Neill.  Lismore Tidy Towns employed and paid  Mr. O’ Neill to do the remainder of the work. He was helped by our two Community Employment Scheme workers. Waterford County Council under the direction of the Area Engineer provided a small digger, cement mixer, the stone and later the soil to raise the level of ground in that area. The Heritage Officer from Waterford County Council also met on site to give advice. Please note: This area is being developed as a managed wildlife area. Log heaps from old tree trunks and stone piles have been created. Bird and bat boxes have been put up. A picnic table and seating have been built on the site with stone which are topped with oak planks which are bolted in place.

The Stone Mason’s Report – PDF Document

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DSC03554A unique  feature of Co. Waterford’s  and Lismore’s built heritage are the the nineteenth century stonemasonry built depots or stone breakers yards which resemble laybys which can be seen on  Co. Waterford’s primary and secondary roads. A number of those can be seen on the Cappoquin-Lismore-Tallow N 72 road and the Lismore-Vee roadR668..About six years ago Lismore Tidy Towns started on a  conservation programme  to  clean  and  repair stone depots that were in a derelict state on the outskirts of the town and to ensure that the depots would be preserved for another generation. It also aimed to  provide information to the people of Lismore and visitors  to the town on those important structures so a specially designed information board was placed in the Millennium Park, Lismore during April 2014.

The group started with one depot on the main Lismore to Cappoquin Road, then did conservation work with the help of the staff of the area office Waterford Co. Co.  completed work on four others on the main Lismore to Tallow Road and finally in the Spring of 2014 finished off work on four  depots on the Lismore to the Vee Road.Within the environs of Lismore town two depots which are being used as raised flower beds.


Very few people know the purpose or the historical background of the depots to be seen on the approach roads to Lismore town and throughout Co. Waterford. The depots date from the mid nineteenth century when Co. Waterford’s main road building programme was carried out. The depots were constructed of local stone and thus some are built of limestone and others  in sandstone reflecting the diverse geology of Co. Waterford. For ease of storage and volume measurement, stores of broken stone were held in the depots along  the road and men known as stone breakers crushed rocks into rubble using a sledge hammer and a lump hammer. Stones were checked for size by an overseer using a ring. If a stone was too big to go through the ring it then had to have another crushing .The rubble was then  shoveled, spread out and used in the construction of the roads. The workers were paid according to how many cubic yards they produced.


Many of the stone depots in the Lismore area have their original cast iron milestone markers and share a design also found in counties Antrim and Cork. Milestones as their name suggests are stones or markers that indicate the distance in miles between a vllage, town or a city. Thecast iron markers bear the foundry HCPrice London and Bristol.There are over forty miestones in Co Waterford. Some are set into the back wall of the stone depots and others are free standing. Milestones are a protected structure in Co. Waterford.


On Monday 15th September 2014 one week after it was announced that Lismore Tidy Towns had won a National Heritage Award in the SuperValu Tidy Towns Competition for its conservation work on the nineteenth century stone depots, Ms. Bernadette Guest, Heritage Officer Waterford City and County Council unveiled  a new information sign  with graphics and information on the stone depots in the Millennium Park, Lismore. People are invited to come in and view it.