Tag Archives: County Wexford

HOOK HEAD – COUNTY WEXFORD – REPUBLIC OF IRELAND #discoverireland

HOOK HEAD & LIGHTHOUSE

As we traveled along Hook Peninsula toward Hook Head we passed Loftus Hall.   Loftus Hall is a large mansion built on the site of the original Redmond Hall, it is said by locals to be haunted by the devil and the ghost of a young woman.

The Legend of Loftus Hall: an Irish ghost story

At the end of Hook Peninsula is Hook Head & Hook Lighthouse.  Hook Head is the headland on the east side of  the estuary of the three sisters rivers.

Hook Head

Hook Head is said to have found its way into common English usage in the saying “By Hook or by Crook.” It is claimed that the phrase is derived from a vow to take Waterford by Hook (on the Wexford side of Waterford Estuary) or by Crook (a village on the Waterford side) made by Oliver Cromwell.

Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse is one of the oldest operating lighthouses still operating.  The current tower’s rich history dates back to the 12th century; beacon operation in the area dates back as far as the 5th century.

Part of Ireland’s Ancient East, Hook Lighthouse is situated in the South West corner of County Wexford bordering County Waterford.  It has marked the entrance to Waterford Harbour at the mouth of the three sisters river system for over 800 years.

The Visitor centre offers guided tours of this wonderful Medieval lighthouse tower, built by William Marshal, the Earl of Pembroke.  Known as the Greatest Knight and the most famous Knight of his time, Marshal built the tower as part of the development of his Lordship of Leinster, to protect and develop the important shipping trade in the 13th Century.

Purpose built as a lighthouse 800 years ago, and still fully operational today, it truly is one of a kind!
~heritageisland.com

Hook Lighthouse:  The Second Oldest in the World ~Urban Ghosts

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TEMPLETOWN – COUNTY WEXFORD – REPUBLIC OF IRELAND #discoverireland

Templar’s Church

As we drove south from Duncannon along the coast of Hook Peninsula we stumbled upon the Templar’s Church ruin near Templetown.  The ruins stand on a grassy mound raised from the road and are surrounded by an old graveyard with some interesting stones. You can reach the site by a stile by the dilapidated gates at the roadside.  After your visit you can refresh yourself at the Templar Inn across the road.

The Knights Templar came to a bad end in Europe in the late 13th century.  Blamed in part for the loss of Jerusalem to Islam they found themselves dispossessed of their lands and wealth and in many cases they were tortured. In Ireland members of the order were incarcerated in Dublin Castle to await trial.

Templetown

Templetown received its name from the Knights Templar, a brotherhood of monastic Norman warriors who originated during the crusades. After the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169, large areas of land around the Hook Peninsula were given to the order by King Henry II.  Templetown was used as their headquarters.

Following the collapse of Christian control of the Holy Land in the 1290s, the Templars received a good deal of the blame for this. They were also resented for their wealth, power and arrogance.  King Philip of France, who had an eye on their possessions, had members arrested on charges of heresy, idolatry and various sexual vices. Many members confessed these charges under torture and it’s head member, Jacques du Molay, was burned at the stake in 1314.

In Ireland, arrested Templars were imprisoned in Dublin Castle and tried in St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1310, and while there were no torture, the order was dissolved here as in Europe, and its possessions were transferred to the Hospitallers.  The church itself has an unusual castellated tower which was probably built at a later  stage for protection from warring Gaelic clans.
~curious ireland

 

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DUNCANNON FORT & BEACH – COUNTY WEXFORD – REPUBLIC OF IRELAND #discoverireland

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.

By hook or by crook

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.
~Wikipedia

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