Tag Archives: Waterford Harbour



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!

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


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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.


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