This year is a very special year for Ford. On April 14th it will be two hundred years since the birth of Louisa, Lady Waterford, who lived at Ford Castle from 1860, following the tragic death of her husband, Henry 3rd Marquis of Waterford. Lady Waterford did much to improve the living conditions of the local people and built the school, now called the Lady Waterford Hall. Her most lasting legacy are the murals decorating the walls of the Hall which she painted between 1862 and 1883 and which visitors from home and abroad come to see and admire. She died at Ford Castle in 1891 and is buried in Ford churchyard. Her grave is a Grade 2 listed monument, a recumbent Celtic cross and headstone carved by the famous artist and sculptor, George Watts.
The weekend of 14th and 15th April will see some celebratory events including the launch of a schools’ art competition, a flower festival in Ford Church and open days at Ford Castle where there will be exhibitions about the archaeology and history of Ford, and the life of the castle and estate from the time of the Waterfords to the present day.
Over the weekend admission to all venues will be by donation, raising funds for the future upkeep and maintenance of the Lady Waterford Hall, Museum and Gallery (Registered Charity no 248898).
At Lady Waterford Hall if you would prefer a guided tour rather than a freelance visit, the Guides will conduct two daily tours, at 11.30am and 2.30pm on both days. After each tour, for those interested, the Curator will lead a short walk by Ford Castle to the grave of Lady Waterford (weather permitting).
On the evening of Sat 14th April there will be a celebration ceilidh and supper at the Lady Waterford Hall from 7pm – 10.30pm led by ‘Copper Ceilidh’ from Edinburgh. Tickets at £14.00 are on sale at the post offices in Ford and Etal. (Please book early as there are limited places).