In Victorian Waterford, the City Council had just reformed and Thomas Meagher was elected Mayor in 1843. During this period there was a number of large scale public works projects including in 1849 the erection of a new neoclassical courthouse. In 1857, in the vicinity of the courthouse, the City Council initiated a drainage scheme, diverting the St John’s River in order to create the People’s Park which to this day provides a welcome retreat for the citizens of Waterford. The busy quayside got its own timepiece with the building of the Clock Tower which is one of the best known landmarks in the City. Built in 1881 at a cost of £200, the Gothic style granite clock provided a useful social amenity both for the wayfarer and the local community.