England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

Duncannon

Tides and tools
Overview





Duncannon Harbour is located on the southeast coast of Ireland, on the eastern shores of Waterford Harbour six miles north of Hook Head lighthouse. It is a small fishing port and village where a vessel may dry out on, anchor off or temporarily come alongside its commercial wall.

Duncannon Harbour is located on the southeast coast of Ireland, on the eastern shores of Waterford Harbour six miles north of Hook Head lighthouse. It is a small fishing port and village where a vessel may dry out on, anchor off or temporarily come alongside its commercial wall.

Duncannon is good harbour but exposed to everything from northeast round to northwest where Dunmore East on the opposite shore would be a better option. The wide, unhindered and well-marked Waterford Harbour estuary provides safe access, night or day, at any stage of the tide and the harbour is less than 100 metres from the channel.
Please note

Tidal streams are a prime consideration within Waterford Harbour; a strong adverse current will make for slow progress, conversely, a favourable passage current will make the estuary quickly traversable.




Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Duncannon



Last modified
May 23rd 2019

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Mini-supermarket or supermarket availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaPleasant family beach in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Berth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



HM  +353 51 301400      Ch.12
Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

52° 13.327' N, 006° 56.283' W

At the end of the pier.

What is the initial fix?

The following Waterford Harbour marked channel initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 10.740' N, 006° 56.320' W
This waypoint is 600 metres south by southwest of the Waterford Channel Number 1. starboard-hand marker (Fl.G.2s on a bearing of 009°T). It is directly east of Creadan Head, upon the eastern side of the Waterford Channel where at night you will see the Dunmore East leading lights alternate white/green.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southeastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location. Seaward approaches and the run up the harbour are covered in the Port of Waterford Click to view haven entry.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Duncannon for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Arthurstown - 0.8 miles NNW
  2. Passage East - 1 miles NW
  3. Ballyhack - 1.1 miles NW
  4. Dollar Bay - 1.2 miles SSE
  5. Creadan Head - 1.5 miles SSW
  6. Seedes Bank - 1.6 miles NW
  7. Buttermilk Point - 1.8 miles NW
  8. Templetown Bay - 1.8 miles SSE
  9. Cheekpoint - 2.3 miles NW
  10. Lumsdin's Bay - 2.5 miles SSE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Arthurstown - 0.8 miles NNW
  2. Passage East - 1 miles NW
  3. Ballyhack - 1.1 miles NW
  4. Dollar Bay - 1.2 miles SSE
  5. Creadan Head - 1.5 miles SSW
  6. Seedes Bank - 1.6 miles NW
  7. Buttermilk Point - 1.8 miles NW
  8. Templetown Bay - 1.8 miles SSE
  9. Cheekpoint - 2.3 miles NW
  10. Lumsdin's Bay - 2.5 miles SSE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search



What's the story here?
Duncannon with its conspicuous fort on a rocky promontory
Image: Michael Harpur


Duncannon is a tourist and fishing village situated on the east bank of the River Suir. The village is made unmistakable by its lofty rocky promontory that juts out into the channel upon which there is a 16th-century fort. In the corner of the bight, immediately to the northeast of the fort, is a small fishing harbour comprising two piers. The inner pier encloses an old drying dock and the outer is the commercial quay used by fishing boats.


The commercial quay and old drying dock to the northeast of the fort
Image: Michael Harpur


A vessel visiting Duncannon has several mooring possibilities. Vessels that can take to the mud will find the old drying dock, situated in the northeast corner, offers excellent protection and has a good sandy bottom to dry upon. 3 metres will be found at high water in the old dock.


The old drying dock
Image: Michael Harpur


The outer commercial quay offers minimum depths of as little as 0.5 metres on low water springs but a minimum of 1.5 metres on low water neaps at the very end of the pier. Depending on a vessels requisite draft, with a spring 4.7 metre and neap 2.4-metre tidal range added, it provides reasonable pier access most of the time. Fishing vessels have priority access to the commercial quay, and leisure vessels should fit any berthing around their operations.

Deep keel vessels may anchor close north of the quay in 3- 4 metres. This is not an ideal long-term anchoring point as it is subject to wash, being immediately just off the main channel. It also has strong and confused tidal streams, that wrap around the headland, and is subject to poor holding ground.


How to get in?
Duncannon
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use the Port of Waterford Click to view haven for details of seaward approaches, entry to Waterford Harbour and the run up the estuary.


Duncannon’s highly distinctive fort can be seen from the entrance
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix, set in the middle of the entrance, head northeast for the 'Waterford' port marker buoy and then pick up the No. 1 and 2 buoys of the fairway and follow the marks up the harbour. Duncannon’s highly distinctive fort on the headland will be visible all the way with its prominent white light tower. At night the tower exhibits a directional light F WRG 13m 10M leading up the entrance channel. Duncannon point is steep-to, but the bight close south is filled by a mud flat.


Duncannon Fort's Lighthouse with Hook Head in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Once past the fort, the wall of the commercial quay will be seen extending north-westward from the north face of the peninsula. Round the head of the pier to address the harbour.
Please note

The tide runs very strong here and Duncannon should be avoided on the full run of the ebb or out-going tide. It is recommended that approaches are made at high or low water.




Duncannon Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location The old drying harbour is tucked into the northeast corner. A small privately-owned shallow water pontoon moored just outside the old dock may be a possibility for some craft if the dock is full but check locally.


The old drying dock
Image: Michael Harpur


Vessels coming alongside the commercial quay for a short stay should note that fishing vessels have priority access. Please seek agreement before rafting up to fishing vessels and be ready to move at short notice. The quay suffers from a limited amount of stepping points making it difficult to scale the wall at low water.


Duncannon as seen from the north with yachts alongside the commercial quay
Image: Michael Harpur


Deeper keel vessels may anchor close north of the quay in 3- 4 metres and at the public boat slip alongside its pier. This is not an ideal long-term anchoring point as being just off the main channel it is subject to wash, has strong and confused tidal streams wrapping around the headland and has poor holding.
Please note

Vessels should not anchor in the vicinity of the submarine cables off Duncannon Point.




Why visit here?
Duncannon, in Irish 'Dún Conan', derives its name from the Irish "the Fort of Conán" with Conán thought to be the 3rd-century Conán mac Morna of the Fianna. The Fianna were a small, semi-independent warrior band in Irish mythology that featured in the stories of the Fenian Cycle. They were led by the mythical hunter-warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill, known in English as Finn McCool or Finn MacCoul.


Duncannon Fort once the site of a Celtic fort and a Norman castle
Image: Michael Harpur


Sitting on a rocky promontory that juts out into the Waterford harbour channel, whilst overlooking and defending the harbour entrance, it is unsurprising that the strategically prominent headland retained its military importance for sixteen centuries after the time of Fianna. It became the site of a Celtic and then a Norman Fortress and the current imposing star-shaped citadel fort which consumes the headland today was commenced by the British in 1588. The construction of Duncannon Fort was motivated by both security and economic concerns but it was certainly initiated as a defence against an attack by the Spanish Armada. The Armada never arrived but for four centuries the fort was to play a crucial part in the trials and tribulations of the region.


Sentry's walk Duncannon Fort
Image: Marion Coady, Duncannon Fort Trust


During the Irish Confederate Wars (1641-1652), the fort was besieged three times until it was taken by an Irish Confederate army in 1645. During the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Duncannon was besieged in 1649 by Oliver Cromwell under which the fort's Irish garrison held out. In July 1650, after the fall of Waterford, the fort and town finally surrendered. At the time Cromwell is reputed to have coined the timeless expression, that Waterford would fall 'by Hook or by Crooke', that is, by landing his army at Hook Head or Crooke on the opposite Waterford shore, during the 1649 to 50 siege of the town.


James II fled from the old harbour to Kinsale from where he went into exile in
France

Image: Michael Harpur


Following Cromwell's successful Irish campaign, Duncannon was designated one of the principal forts of the Kingdom being described as 'The Second Fort of the Realm' and bearing the title 'The Royal Fort of Duncannon'. In around 1684, armed with more than thirty cannons, Robert Leigh noted of the fortress 'About a mile from Ballihack to the south-east nearer the mouth of the river of Waterford lies the fort of Duncannon, accounted of considerable strength and well manned with a sufficient number of great guns and other armour, and commands the mouth of the river, so that no ship can go in or out but shall be called to account by those in the fort. '


View of the harbour from a Duncannon gun position
Image: Michael Harpur


In 1690 Duncannon Fort hosted two kings of England. Routed from his defeat at the 'Battle of the Boyne', in the Williamite War in Ireland (1689-91), James II set sail from Duncannon for Kinsale from where he went into exile in France. Later his son in law and enemy, William of Orange, marched on the fort to receive its surrender without resistance. Bad weather then delayed his return to England and William stayed at the fort in September 1690 before returning home as the victor. The site where James' boat departed bears the name 'King James' Hole'.


Duncannon Fort's Lighthouse dates back to 1774
Image: Michael Harpur


The fort was one of the few places in County Wexford that did not fall to the rebels during the 1798 rebellion where it became a sanctuary for fleeing loyalists and troops in south Wexford. It was also used as a prison and place of execution for suspected rebels. The gruesome dungeon, seemingly a munitions store, in which the young 1798 rebels were imprisoned in the ‘Croppy Boy’ cell. The name "croppy" referred to the closely cropped hair that was the badge of the 1798 rebels; the ‘croppy boys’ being those aged between 14 and 21. The fashion came from French revolutionaries of the period which associated the crop cut with the anti-wig, and therefore, anti-aristocrat. The "croppys" were subjected to torture by flogging, picketing and half-hanging but the reactive contemporary torture, pitch-capping, was specifically invented to target the "croppys". "The Croppy Boy" is one of the saddest ballads of the rebellion, relating the despair of a doomed young "croppy" processed in Duncannon Fort.


Gun port alongside the Croppy Boy cell
Image: Michael Harpur


During the early years of the 19th-century two Martello towers were built on high ground above the fort. It remained in the control of the British Government until the War of Independence in 1919. In 1922 it was set alight by the old IRA and it then lay in ruins until the outbreak of World War II. Then it was rebuilt and occupied by the Army who used it as an observation base during the war. Though its military significance had greatly diminished, it was used as a modest Irish army post mainly for summer training until 1986. In 1993 the Department of Defence handed the fort over to Wexford County Council and it is currently being refurbished by the Duncannon Heritage Group.


Yacht race under the fort
Image: Michael Harpur


Today the fort is open to visitors from June to September seven days a week and has a café, craft shop, maritime plus war museum, craft centre and artist studio. A guided tour around the outer ramparts is a must visit. The inner facing star-shaped walls are protected by an unusual 10-metre high dry moat. All its major buildings are arranged around its central parade ground. The white lighthouse, that hosts the harbours leading lights, was constructed in 1774 and is one of the oldest lighthouses of its kind in Ireland. Not only does it provide views over the fortress's much-noted dry moat, but also spectacular views across the estuary down to Hook Head, over to Creadan Head and up to Passage East.


Kitesurfing Festival Duncannon
Image: Tourism Ireland


Today Duncannon is primarily a fishing village but it also relies heavily on tourism. Situated on the very scenic ‘Ring of Hook’ drive it bustles with life during the summer. Duncannon’s popular mile long golden beach called ‘The Strand’ has Blue Flag status. It is very safe for families and is a favourite for kite surfing. It also hosts an International Sand Sculpting Festival and Kitesurfing Festival every August. Likewise, it has all the amenities you would expect as a prime tourist destination. However the village of Duncannon owes its existence to its fortress and military history, and this makes it a stand out destination for visitors to the area.


What facilities are available?
Duncannon has all the pubs, restaurants and shops that you would expect a prime tourist destination to have, all within a short stroll from the quay.


Any security concerns?
Never an incident is known to have happened to a visiting yacht in Duncannon. However, if leaving the vessel unattended make sure that it is secure.


With thanks to:
John Carroll, Ballyhack, Co.Wexford, Ireland. Photography with thanks to Burke Corbett, Michael Harpur and Marion Coady, Manager, Duncannon Fort Trust.


Expand to new tab or fullscreen
Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.





















Aerial overview of Duncannon




The tenor Anthony Kearns sings 'The Croppy Boy'


About Duncannon

Duncannon, in Irish 'Dún Conan', derives its name from the Irish "the Fort of Conán" with Conán thought to be the 3rd-century Conán mac Morna of the Fianna. The Fianna were a small, semi-independent warrior band in Irish mythology that featured in the stories of the Fenian Cycle. They were led by the mythical hunter-warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill, known in English as Finn McCool or Finn MacCoul.


Duncannon Fort once the site of a Celtic fort and a Norman castle
Image: Michael Harpur


Sitting on a rocky promontory that juts out into the Waterford harbour channel, whilst overlooking and defending the harbour entrance, it is unsurprising that the strategically prominent headland retained its military importance for sixteen centuries after the time of Fianna. It became the site of a Celtic and then a Norman Fortress and the current imposing star-shaped citadel fort which consumes the headland today was commenced by the British in 1588. The construction of Duncannon Fort was motivated by both security and economic concerns but it was certainly initiated as a defence against an attack by the Spanish Armada. The Armada never arrived but for four centuries the fort was to play a crucial part in the trials and tribulations of the region.


Sentry's walk Duncannon Fort
Image: Marion Coady, Duncannon Fort Trust


During the Irish Confederate Wars (1641-1652), the fort was besieged three times until it was taken by an Irish Confederate army in 1645. During the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Duncannon was besieged in 1649 by Oliver Cromwell under which the fort's Irish garrison held out. In July 1650, after the fall of Waterford, the fort and town finally surrendered. At the time Cromwell is reputed to have coined the timeless expression, that Waterford would fall 'by Hook or by Crooke', that is, by landing his army at Hook Head or Crooke on the opposite Waterford shore, during the 1649 to 50 siege of the town.


James II fled from the old harbour to Kinsale from where he went into exile in
France

Image: Michael Harpur


Following Cromwell's successful Irish campaign, Duncannon was designated one of the principal forts of the Kingdom being described as 'The Second Fort of the Realm' and bearing the title 'The Royal Fort of Duncannon'. In around 1684, armed with more than thirty cannons, Robert Leigh noted of the fortress 'About a mile from Ballihack to the south-east nearer the mouth of the river of Waterford lies the fort of Duncannon, accounted of considerable strength and well manned with a sufficient number of great guns and other armour, and commands the mouth of the river, so that no ship can go in or out but shall be called to account by those in the fort. '


View of the harbour from a Duncannon gun position
Image: Michael Harpur


In 1690 Duncannon Fort hosted two kings of England. Routed from his defeat at the 'Battle of the Boyne', in the Williamite War in Ireland (1689-91), James II set sail from Duncannon for Kinsale from where he went into exile in France. Later his son in law and enemy, William of Orange, marched on the fort to receive its surrender without resistance. Bad weather then delayed his return to England and William stayed at the fort in September 1690 before returning home as the victor. The site where James' boat departed bears the name 'King James' Hole'.


Duncannon Fort's Lighthouse dates back to 1774
Image: Michael Harpur


The fort was one of the few places in County Wexford that did not fall to the rebels during the 1798 rebellion where it became a sanctuary for fleeing loyalists and troops in south Wexford. It was also used as a prison and place of execution for suspected rebels. The gruesome dungeon, seemingly a munitions store, in which the young 1798 rebels were imprisoned in the ‘Croppy Boy’ cell. The name "croppy" referred to the closely cropped hair that was the badge of the 1798 rebels; the ‘croppy boys’ being those aged between 14 and 21. The fashion came from French revolutionaries of the period which associated the crop cut with the anti-wig, and therefore, anti-aristocrat. The "croppys" were subjected to torture by flogging, picketing and half-hanging but the reactive contemporary torture, pitch-capping, was specifically invented to target the "croppys". "The Croppy Boy" is one of the saddest ballads of the rebellion, relating the despair of a doomed young "croppy" processed in Duncannon Fort.


Gun port alongside the Croppy Boy cell
Image: Michael Harpur


During the early years of the 19th-century two Martello towers were built on high ground above the fort. It remained in the control of the British Government until the War of Independence in 1919. In 1922 it was set alight by the old IRA and it then lay in ruins until the outbreak of World War II. Then it was rebuilt and occupied by the Army who used it as an observation base during the war. Though its military significance had greatly diminished, it was used as a modest Irish army post mainly for summer training until 1986. In 1993 the Department of Defence handed the fort over to Wexford County Council and it is currently being refurbished by the Duncannon Heritage Group.


Yacht race under the fort
Image: Michael Harpur


Today the fort is open to visitors from June to September seven days a week and has a café, craft shop, maritime plus war museum, craft centre and artist studio. A guided tour around the outer ramparts is a must visit. The inner facing star-shaped walls are protected by an unusual 10-metre high dry moat. All its major buildings are arranged around its central parade ground. The white lighthouse, that hosts the harbours leading lights, was constructed in 1774 and is one of the oldest lighthouses of its kind in Ireland. Not only does it provide views over the fortress's much-noted dry moat, but also spectacular views across the estuary down to Hook Head, over to Creadan Head and up to Passage East.


Kitesurfing Festival Duncannon
Image: Tourism Ireland


Today Duncannon is primarily a fishing village but it also relies heavily on tourism. Situated on the very scenic ‘Ring of Hook’ drive it bustles with life during the summer. Duncannon’s popular mile long golden beach called ‘The Strand’ has Blue Flag status. It is very safe for families and is a favourite for kite surfing. It also hosts an International Sand Sculpting Festival and Kitesurfing Festival every August. Likewise, it has all the amenities you would expect as a prime tourist destination. However the village of Duncannon owes its existence to its fortress and military history, and this makes it a stand out destination for visitors to the area.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Arthurstown - 0.8 miles NNW
Ballyhack - 1.1 miles NW
Seedes Bank - 1.6 miles NW
Buttermilk Point - 1.8 miles NW
New Ross - 6.3 miles N
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Dollar Bay - 1.2 miles SSE
Templetown Bay - 1.8 miles SSE
Lumsdin's Bay - 2.5 miles SSE
Slade - 3.3 miles SSE
Baginbun Bay - 3.1 miles ESE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Duncannon.








































Aerial overview of Duncannon




The tenor Anthony Kearns sings 'The Croppy Boy'



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.