TH Dolan Pub Restoration Project

image of a bar
TH Dolan pub

Waterford’s oldest pub

Restoration works have begun on the site of Waterford’s oldest pub. The pub, which dates back to 1710, had fallen into a state of disrepair but has now received funding to help restore and maintain the unique aspects of the building.

One of the many unique characteristics of the building is its distinctive gold-coloured signage. SEAM was approached by the restoration team to help identify what materials were used in their manufacture in order to ensure that the same materials were used in the preservation of this iconic façade which had been in place for over 100 years.

Signage material analysis

On initial inspection the lettering construction was based around a metal frame with some form of surface protection which had ensured the letters had not corroded during their long exposure to the weather in Waterford City. Upon this a filling of mortar like material similar to concrete had been placed and used to affix gold leaf plated glass tiles which provided the distinctive appearance. The focus of the analysis was to identify the construction of the base metal of the lettering. SEAM carried out several tests on the materials used in the signage. The outcome of these tests yielded the following information pertinent to the restoration of the signage:

  • The metal part appears to be composed of a grade HT 200 or HT 250 cast Iron.
  • The surface coating of the metal part appears to be composed of Zinc (Zn) suggesting protection from the elements was provide by a zinc hot-dipping process common in the 19th century.
  • The concrete/mortar part appears to be mostly composed of Calcium carbonate and Silicon dioxide suggesting a quarried sand was used in its manufacture.

three cups hanging on a shelf




Irish Business


Innovation Voucher

Thank you so very much for the input and efforts of your team to ensure that our restorations are done to the exacting standard that they deserve.”

Cormac McPhillips – Technical Services Manager

The TH Dolan & SEAM Technology Gateway partnership

This analysis has enabled SEAM to provide the restorers with information that will enable them to faithfully restore the iconic letters to their original glory and ensure they will last for another hundred years if not longer. This information has now been passed to the restoration team and will be used to ensure continuity in terms of the look and structure of the original signage .

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