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Creadan Head

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Overview





Creadan Head is located on the southeast coast of Ireland on the western entrance to Waterford Harbour. It is a large remote bay, about two and a half miles northeast of Dunmore East, where it is possible to anchor under the outer end of the high protective headland.

Creadan Head is located on the southeast coast of Ireland on the western entrance to Waterford Harbour. It is a large remote bay, about two and a half miles northeast of Dunmore East, where it is possible to anchor under the outer end of the high protective headland.

Although well protected from the prevailing south-westerly conditions, and set behind high ground within the entrance, Creadan Head only makes for a tolerable anchorage. The bays gradual shoaling keeps a vessel well out on anchor and this combines badly with waves that tend to wrap around the extremity of the headland. The wide, unhindered and well-marked Waterford Harbour estuary provides safe access, night or day and at any stage of the tide.



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Keyfacts for Creadan Head



Last modified
April 15th 2020

Summary

A tolerable location with safe access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open water

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



HM  +353 51 301400     HM  +353 87 2598297      Ch.14/10/13 [Waterford Port]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 10.905' N, 006° 57.142' W

400 metres north of Creadan head in 2.5 metres.

What is the initial fix?

The following Creadan Head initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 8.332' N, 006° 57.695' W
This is 600 metres south by southwest of the Waterford Channel No.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 the Dunmore East leading lights alternate white/green will be seen.


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, along with 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 Creadan Head for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Dollar Bay - 1 miles ENE
  2. Templetown Bay - 1.1 miles E
  3. Lumsdin's Bay - 1.4 miles SE
  4. Dunmore East - 1.4 miles SW
  5. Duncannon - 1.5 miles NNE
  6. Slade - 2 miles SSE
  7. Arthurstown - 2.2 miles N
  8. Passage East - 2.2 miles NNW
  9. Ballyhack - 2.4 miles N
  10. Seedes Bank - 2.8 miles NNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Dollar Bay - 1 miles ENE
  2. Templetown Bay - 1.1 miles E
  3. Lumsdin's Bay - 1.4 miles SE
  4. Dunmore East - 1.4 miles SW
  5. Duncannon - 1.5 miles NNE
  6. Slade - 2 miles SSE
  7. Arthurstown - 2.2 miles N
  8. Passage East - 2.2 miles NNW
  9. Ballyhack - 2.4 miles N
  10. Seedes Bank - 2.8 miles NNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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What's the story here?
The long promontory of Creadan Head
Image: Michael Harpur


Creadan Head is a headland on a small peninsula on the west side of Waterford Harbour, about three miles above Dunmore East. The high finger of land that extends out for ¾ of a mile from the shore and terminates abruptly, is a readily identifiable harbour landmark.


Fornaght Strand at the head of the bay
Image: Michael Harpur


The headland affords a tolerable settled weather anchorage just within its outer head. Inside of that the bay quickly begins to shoal into Fornaght Strand at the head of the bay. Therefore, in any developed prevailing southwesterly conditions the boat will lay to the wind and the headlands deflected waves will come abeam causing an uncomfortable roll. This roll-driven crashing and banging places Creadan Head out of the realm of a night’s sleep but it is an excellent daytime stop in anything with a westerly component. An overnight stay is only possible here in very settled conditions.


How to get in?
Creadan Head from seaward
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. The bay is approximately a mile westward of the channel and the approaches are free of any off-lying dangers.

Creadan Head as seen from the estuary (north)
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix, steer to round the head at a sensible distance. There is no necessity to enter the channel and the headland can be rounded inside the No. 2 port hand mark. Indeed it is possible to come close to the headland as it is steep to and depths in excess of 3 metres will be found 50 metres off its eastern face. Just be aware that the encroachment of Creadan Head upon the channel concentrates the estuary tides which can attain up to 3 knots off o its head on springs. Once around the head slowly take the vessel in to find the requisite draft to anchor.


The anchoring are just around the head
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Within the headland is an extensive tract of sand and gravel and the bay quickly begins to shoal from the outer extremity of the head into Fornaght Strand at its head. As such the anchoring position will be just within the outer head and shoal draft vessels visiting at neaps will have the best of it. The exact state of the tide and a keen eye to the sounder will be required to acquire the optimum position. The bay does provide excellent sand and mud holding.


Fornaght Strand
Image: Michael Harpur


Landing is difficult at Creadan Head. As the bay gradually shoals away to Fornaght Strand, the straight stretch of sand and shingle across the head of the bay. But any time spent ashore will require a long dinghy carry over mud.


The headland as seen from the anchoring area
Image: Burke Corbett


Likewise, the side of the cliff promontory descends abruptly into the sea without any beach exposed at the base of its cliffs. Some very narrow strips will be seen in a few coves at low tide but they are usually within a mass of tumbled rocks. Better landing is to be had round the headland on the outer southern shores of Creadan Head where once the estuary pirates plied their trade.


Why visit here?
Creadan Head, often spelt Creaden Head, is a remarkable point of land that has the added significance of being the most easterly point in County Waterford. It acquired its name Ceann Criadain, now known in Irish as Ceann Chréadáin, from the ancient Irish race called The Deise. The Deise were recorded to have possessed the district known as Deise Dheisceirt, described as the area from the River Suir southwards to the sea, and from Lios Mor [Lismore] to Ceann Criadain. The actual name Criadain has no Gaelic translation and is presumed to be an individual's name.


Creadan Head
Image: Nmwalsh via CC BY SA 4.0


In past times Creadan Head was a far busier location than it is today. It has served many purposes throughout the ages; both good and bad. Above the cave near Creadan House, situated at the root of the headland’s southern shore, are the time-worn remains of forty hand-hewn steps that lead up from the sea to the headland. These were cut in medieval times by the Knights Templar who operated a ferry to and from their stronghold Templarstown on the opposite Wexford shore. At that time this path was considered the main road from Cork to London.


Creadan Head as seen from Duncannon
Image: Michael Harpur


In the 16th-century, Waterford Harbour was infested by pirates that were just beginning to have their operations checked by the construction of Duncannon Fort. At that time Creadan Head was a well-known pirate haunt where they capitalised on the juxtaposition of the ancient Waterford Road and the mouth of the estuary. Vessels heading upriver would secretly land goods in the sheltered 'Creadan Cove' or 'Walls Cove' that is situated in front of the cave beneath Creadan House to the south of the headland. The cave was then used as an accumulation point for smuggled goods. These were then delivered to Waterford by the ancient road before the ships had navigated the river. By arriving at the market earlier, these smuggled goods fetched the best price, and by avoiding Waterford’s or New Ross’s taxes and port dues, they also delivered the best profit.


A slave vessel loading its captives in Africa
Image: Public Domain


The Irish name for this ancient path Bothar na Mná Gorm also indicates that it was put to the service of slave traders at some time. Bothar na Mná Gorm translates directly to the English 'the road of the blue women'. Likewise at the base of the peninsula, on the north side of the headland, Fornaght Strand or Knockaveelish Strand, lying between the headland and Knockaveelish Head, is called in Irish Trá na Mná Gorm, the strand of the blue women'. Although called 'blue' both these names mean the 'road' and 'strand' of the Negro Women.


Slaves packed in below decks
Image: Public Domain


The Irish language exclusively used the term 'Black Man' to describe the devil and differentiated Africans by calling them 'Blue People'. The names for the beach and road indicate that African Slaves were landed via the steps at the headland and on the beach on the north shore. While there are very few references to the use of slaves in Ireland, Irish ship-owners and sea captains did partake in the slave trade, and presumably, all the slave landings here were taken ashore or walked to Waterford for re-export to the New World from there.

In later years it is thought that these steps were put to a more honourable use. The harbour pilots of the 18th-century used the headland as an embarkation and disembarkation point from which to access vessels navigating Waterford Harbour.

Today Creadan Head is a very quiet and remote location. It offers an excellent anchorage to wait out a tide and in very settled weather, a good overnight stay may be had. Those who venture ashore will find beautiful elevated coastal walks with spectacular views overlooking the estuary.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities at Creadan Head except for road access to the mainland. For restocking of essential provisions, Dunmore is a four kilometre walk from here.


Any security concerns?
No known problems reported at this location, and you are most likely to be completely alone at this beach and away from any interference.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography with thanks to Burke Corbett and Michael Harpur.



























About Creadan Head

Creadan Head, often spelt Creaden Head, is a remarkable point of land that has the added significance of being the most easterly point in County Waterford. It acquired its name Ceann Criadain, now known in Irish as Ceann Chréadáin, from the ancient Irish race called The Deise. The Deise were recorded to have possessed the district known as Deise Dheisceirt, described as the area from the River Suir southwards to the sea, and from Lios Mor [Lismore] to Ceann Criadain. The actual name Criadain has no Gaelic translation and is presumed to be an individual's name.


Creadan Head
Image: Nmwalsh via CC BY SA 4.0


In past times Creadan Head was a far busier location than it is today. It has served many purposes throughout the ages; both good and bad. Above the cave near Creadan House, situated at the root of the headland’s southern shore, are the time-worn remains of forty hand-hewn steps that lead up from the sea to the headland. These were cut in medieval times by the Knights Templar who operated a ferry to and from their stronghold Templarstown on the opposite Wexford shore. At that time this path was considered the main road from Cork to London.


Creadan Head as seen from Duncannon
Image: Michael Harpur


In the 16th-century, Waterford Harbour was infested by pirates that were just beginning to have their operations checked by the construction of Duncannon Fort. At that time Creadan Head was a well-known pirate haunt where they capitalised on the juxtaposition of the ancient Waterford Road and the mouth of the estuary. Vessels heading upriver would secretly land goods in the sheltered 'Creadan Cove' or 'Walls Cove' that is situated in front of the cave beneath Creadan House to the south of the headland. The cave was then used as an accumulation point for smuggled goods. These were then delivered to Waterford by the ancient road before the ships had navigated the river. By arriving at the market earlier, these smuggled goods fetched the best price, and by avoiding Waterford’s or New Ross’s taxes and port dues, they also delivered the best profit.


A slave vessel loading its captives in Africa
Image: Public Domain


The Irish name for this ancient path Bothar na Mná Gorm also indicates that it was put to the service of slave traders at some time. Bothar na Mná Gorm translates directly to the English 'the road of the blue women'. Likewise at the base of the peninsula, on the north side of the headland, Fornaght Strand or Knockaveelish Strand, lying between the headland and Knockaveelish Head, is called in Irish Trá na Mná Gorm, the strand of the blue women'. Although called 'blue' both these names mean the 'road' and 'strand' of the Negro Women.


Slaves packed in below decks
Image: Public Domain


The Irish language exclusively used the term 'Black Man' to describe the devil and differentiated Africans by calling them 'Blue People'. The names for the beach and road indicate that African Slaves were landed via the steps at the headland and on the beach on the north shore. While there are very few references to the use of slaves in Ireland, Irish ship-owners and sea captains did partake in the slave trade, and presumably, all the slave landings here were taken ashore or walked to Waterford for re-export to the New World from there.

In later years it is thought that these steps were put to a more honourable use. The harbour pilots of the 18th-century used the headland as an embarkation and disembarkation point from which to access vessels navigating Waterford Harbour.

Today Creadan Head is a very quiet and remote location. It offers an excellent anchorage to wait out a tide and in very settled weather, a good overnight stay may be had. Those who venture ashore will find beautiful elevated coastal walks with spectacular views overlooking the estuary.

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:
Dunmore East - 1.4 miles SW
Boatstrand Harbour - 8.2 miles WSW
Stradbally Cove - 11.9 miles WSW
Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 14.7 miles WSW
Dungarvan Town Quay - 15.6 miles WSW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Passage East - 2.2 miles NNW
Cheekpoint - 3.5 miles NNW
Little Island - 3.6 miles NW
Port of Waterford - 4.6 miles NW
New Ross Marina - 7.8 miles N

Navigational pictures


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



























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