Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Museum

Visit the Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Radio Museum located in the Martello Tower in Howth. Explore the full collection that belonged to Pat Herbert that he decided to exhibit in 2003.

What can I expect
  • Museum dedicated to early radio and communications in Ireland
  • Over 1,000 exhibits

This museum is the collection from Pat Herbert who was originally from Rathnamagh, Ardagh, Co. Mayo.

After he heard radio/wireless for the first time in his life when he was aged 10 in 1947, when the All-Ireland football final was from New York. Pat was memorised by the technology that allowed him to hear Michael O'Hehir's voice clearly across the Atlantic Ocean.

Throughout his life he collected all items to do with radio and communications. When he retired, he decided to exhibit his collection - which is now located in the Martello Tower #2 in the Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Museum.

Throughout the years, Pat was fortunate to have support of many people who gave their time and energy to make the museum a special place in the very historic location.


History of the Tower

The tower dates back to the Napoleonic Times. The tower was used to defend against invasion by communicating between each other, mainly along the East Coast.

In 1852 the second Underwater Submarine Telegraph Cable in the world was completed between the Tower and Holyhead.

In 1989 Marconi used Wireless Telegraphy, 2 miles opposite the Tower in Dublin Bay - reporting on the Kingstown Regatta. This became known as the Birth of Radio.

In 1903 Lee DeForest who was an American inventor came to the tower to further experiment for the GPO in London in 1905, while honeymooning in Ireland, Marconi set up a wireless station at the tower.


The museum itself is full of history of all early radio and communications in Ireland and beyond.

It has over 1,000 exhibits and highlights include - Spark Transmitter, Edison Phonograph, HMV, Monarch Gramophone, Seraphone, Art Andia Parrot Speakers, Paris Ariel, BBC Macroniphone and many more.

Open every Saturday & Sunday


Museum of Vintage Radio, Martello Tower, 2 Abbey St, Howth, Dublin, D13 V099

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