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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 a 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 a 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 bay’s 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. In prevailing conditions a boat will lay to the wind and this brings the headland’s deflected waves abeam causing an uncomfortable roll. The wide, unhindered and well-marked Waterford Harbour estuary provides safe access, night or day and at any stage of the tide.
Please note

A potential race can develop at the entrance to Waterford Harbour when the estuary tide collides with rough sea conditions. Prepare for a turbulent time on the entry if there are strong southerly conditions blowing into an ebb tide. In extreme conditions, such as a south easterly Force 8 on an ebb tide, it is best avoided until the tide turns.




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Keyfacts for Creadan Head



Last modified
May 4th 2018

Summary

A tolerable location with safe access.

Facilities
None listed


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

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



HM  +353 51 301400      Ch.12
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 Waterford Harbour marked channel 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?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to Creadan Head for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Dollar Bay - 1 miles ENE
  2. Templetown Bay - 1.1 miles E
  3. Lumsdin's Bay - 1.4 miles SE
  4. Dunmore East - 1.5 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
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Dollar Bay - 1 miles ENE
  2. Templetown Bay - 1.1 miles E
  3. Lumsdin's Bay - 1.4 miles SE
  4. Dunmore East - 1.5 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
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence




Creadan Head
Image: Nmwalsh via CC BY SA 4.0


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, extending out ¾ of a mile from the shore and terminating abruptly, makes for a readily identifiable harbour landmark.

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.


Initial fix location From the initial fix, set in the middle of the entrance, head northeast for the ‘Waterford’ port marker buoy. From here Creadan Head and the first buoys of the entrance channel, No. 1 and 2, will be just visible to the northeast of the headland.
Please note

The western headland of Creadan Head encroaches upon the channel and concentrates the estuary tides. On springs it can reach up to 3 knots off Creadan Head but this decreases out to mid-channel.





The bay is approximately a mile off the channel and the approaches are free of any off-lying dangers. 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. Once around the head slowly take the vessel in to find the requisite draft to anchor.



Haven location An extensive tract of sand and gravel is located to the north of the headland and the bay quickly begins to shoal from the outer extremity of the head into Fornaght Strand at the head of the bay. As such the anchoring position will be just within the outer head. The exact state of the tide and a keen eye to the sounder will be required to acquire the optimum position. The bay provides excellent sand and mud holding.



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, any time spent ashore will require a long dinghy carry over mud. 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.
Please note

An overnight stay is only possible here in very settled conditions. As discussed, 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 puts Creadan Head out of the realm of a night’s sleep but it is an excellent daytime stop in anything with a westerly component.






What's the story 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.

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 from their stronghold Templarstown on the opposite Wexford shore. At that time this path was considered the main road from Cork to London.

In the 16th-century, the 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 secretly landed 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. Thereby arriving at the market earlier, they fetched the best price, and in avoiding Waterford’s or New Ross’s taxes and port dues, they delivered the best profit.

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. 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 eighteenth 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 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.


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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.

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 from their stronghold Templarstown on the opposite Wexford shore. At that time this path was considered the main road from Cork to London.

In the 16th-century, the 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 secretly landed 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. Thereby arriving at the market earlier, they fetched the best price, and in avoiding Waterford’s or New Ross’s taxes and port dues, they delivered the best profit.

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. 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 eighteenth 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 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 - 1.5 miles SW
Dunabrattin (Boatstrand) - 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 - 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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