DUNCANNON FORT & BEACH
We continued our trip across the River Barrow from Passage East. We stopped at Duncannon Beach to stretch our legs and take in the sight of Duncannon Fort.
Duncannon Fort is located in a strategic position on a Hook Peninsula in the eastern part of Waterford Harbour, giving access to Ireland’s Three Sisters: the River Barrow, River Nore and River Suir. Queen Elizabeth I built the star fort between 1587–88. Its purpose was to defend Waterford from possible invasion by the Spanish Armada.
Hook Peninsula is the “hook” in “By hook or by crook.” Hook and Crook are the names of headlands on either side of a bay by Waterford, Ireland. Hook Head and Crooke are on opposite sides of the Waterford channel. Cromwell (born 1599, died 1658) is reputed to have said that Waterford would fall ‘by Hook or by Crooke’, that is, by a landing of his army at one of those two places during the siege of the town in 1649/50.
Duncannon Fort saw major military action during the Irish Confederate Wars. Commanded by the Royalist governor Laurence Esmonde, 1st Baron Esmonde, it was besieged and captured by Irish Catholic Confederation forces under Thomas Preston, 1st Viscount Tara in January–March 1645. Oliver Cromwell failed to retake Duncannon in 1649, but it surrendered in 1650 after a blockade led by Henry Ireton.
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