Sunday 16th October

          “From The Blackwater to the Nile :

Adventurers, Scholars, and Travel Writers.

12.30 pm lunch.  2. pm opening by her Excellency Soha Gendi Egyptian Ambassador to Ireland 2.15 pm Harp recital by Una Whyte.  2.30 pm lectures by Dr. Rachel Finnegan & Willie Fraher 4 pm close

€40 pp or €70  for two

Further details:

Dr Rachel Finnegan:

Richard Pococke

This illustrated presentation tells of the Egyptian travels, writings and “curious” collections of the pioneering Egyptologist, Dr Richard Pococke (1704-65).

On his return from the East, which included two lengthy sojourns in Egypt, Pococke settled briefly in London, where he worked on his famous book A Description of the East (1743) – a scholarly and very visual account of the history, culture and geography of Egypt. After his publication of a second volume (1745), which covered the rest of his Eastern travels, he was appointed Archdeacon of Dublin and took up residence in Ireland. Over the next few years, he undertook several tours of the country, which he recorded in his travel diary. This included a tour of County Waterford, in 1752, when he visited the grounds of Dromana House.

In 1756 he was translated as Bishop of Ossory, and both in his Dublin residence and the Bishop’s Palace in Kilkenny, he entertained his visitors with lectures on Egyptology and viewings of his unusual collection of Egyptian antiquities and natural curiosities.


William Fraher


Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart & Egypt

This presentation focuses on Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart, who has been over-shadowed by his father, Henry Villiers-Stuart of Catholic Emancipation fame. It will explore Henry’s visits to Egypt, his exploration of its monuments and the collection of artefacts he amassed.

Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart was born on 13 September 1827, the son of Henry Villiers-Stuart (1803-1874) of Dromana House, 1st Baron Stuart de Decies and Theresia Pauline Ott of Vienna.  In 1850 he was ordained a minister and was appointed vicar of Bulkington, Warwickshire in 1852.   He paid his first visit to Egypt in 1849 and again in 1858/59 with the intention of visiting sites mentioned in the bible.

Villiers-Stuart visited Egypt with his wife Mary from the Autumn of 1878 to March 1879 and published the result of his investigations in – Nile Gleanings, concerning the Ethnology, History, and Art of Ancient Egypt. The book was illustrated with his own drawings.

After the battle of Tel-el-Kebir the British government appointed Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart to accompany Lord Dufferin’s delegation to visit Egypt and report on the condition of the people. His reports were published in a series of blue books. In 1883 he published an illustrated overview of his observations, interspersed with accounts of Egyptian antiquities in Egypt After The War (1883). In his introduction he states that he hoped it would help to:

‘emancipate the oppressed classes in Egypt…My sympathies are with the mass of the people of Egypt. I have faith in their capabilities, if only a fair chance be given to them; they are industrious and intelligent.     

Henry was vociferous in campaigning for the preservation of Egyptian monuments which were being damaged by man and nature. Like many others he did collect Egyptian artefacts and brought them back to his home in Dromana.








Welcome to Dromana House & Gardens

Dromana House is a true gem, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the strikingly beautiful, unspoilt river Blackwater. It is surrounded by a 600 acre privately owned estate with numerous woodland and garden walks. Several interesting historic follies are also to be seen throughout the grounds including an ancient outer fortification, boathouse and slipway down to the river. This period property has been lovingly maintained by its owners whose family have lived on this location since 1200, the present owner being the 21st generation.

Dromana House offers a choice of self catering apartments with the perfect combination of old world charm and modern comfort, which are available for holiday or longer term letting.

Located near the historic town of Lismore County Waterford, Dromana is less than 25 km from the sandy beaches of the South East coast of Ireland, from Tramore to – Ardmore, incorporating the renowned scenic drive along the Copper coast.

For the garden enthusiast Dromana is a member of the Waterford garden trail which is one of seven historical gardens all within a 10 km radius. Other activities such as river cruising, canoeing or salmon/trout fishing are available directly from the house.Golfing, cycling, horse riding, deep sea fishing and numerous water sports are all within easy reach. The area offers an abundant choice of award winning fine dining.