This sombre building houses an unique collection of watercolour murals that will take your breath away. Built in 1860 as the village school, the Lady Waterford Hall is now a museum and gallery, as well as serving as the village hall, and tells the fascinating story of Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford.
Commissioned by Lady Waterford, the Hall remained a school until 1957 and in its heyday had as many as 134 children on its books. Louisa Waterford, who owned Ford Estate and came to live in Ford Castle after the untimely death of her husband, was a great benefactress and a talented amateur artist. She rebuilt estate workers’ houses, employed a nurse to look after their welfare and that of their families, and paid for the education of their children. Today the village of Ford is much as it would have been in her time.
Her most lasting legacy, however, is the artwork which can be viewed inside Lady Waterford Hall. Along with a collection of smaller sketches and paintings, the walls are decorated with stunning life-size watercolour murals of Old and New Testament scenes. The murals were painted over a twenty year period and depict the faces of estate workers and their children who lived and worked on Ford Estate in the 19th Century.
A short DVD tells the story of Louisa and her life, there is a child-friendly area with Victorian school activities and a smalll retail gift shop area. There is a very modest admission charge. School and coach groups are welcome.
Wtih fully accessible WC facilities and a catering kitchen, the Lady Waterford Hall is a great venue for meetings, talks, wedding receptions etc and is available for private hire.
The Hall is open late March-end October daily; in high season 11am-5pm. Occasionally the Hall may be closed for a private function - please check opening times on website before travelling.