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Cheekpoint

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Overview





Cheekpoint is situated on the southeast coast of Ireland, 10 miles within and on the western shores of Waterford Harbour at the confluence of the Suir and Barrow Rivers. It is a small village with a drying tidal harbour where it is possible to anchor outside on the edge of the river fairway, or come in to dry if vessels can take to the bottom.

The anchorage is tide-rode and only tolerable in settled conditions. But shallow-draught vessels that can take to the mud will find complete protection from all conditions. The wide, unhindered and well-marked Waterford Harbour estuary provides safe access, night or day and at any stage of the tide.
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.




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Keyfacts for Cheekpoint
Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsNavigation lights to support a night approachSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: rising tide required for accessNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterwaysNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
-1 metres (-3.28 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
3 stars: Tolerable; in suitable conditions a vessel may be left unwatched and an overnight stay.



Last modified
January 25th 2021

Summary* Restrictions apply

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsNavigation lights to support a night approachSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: rising tide required for accessNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterwaysNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



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

52° 16.348' N, 006° 59.745' W

On Cheekpoint’s north pierhead.

What is the initial fix?

The following Cheek Point Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
52° 16.410' N, 006° 59.506' W
This is on the edge of the fairway and immediately outside the branch channel that leads into the head of the pier.


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 Cheekpoint for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Buttermilk Point - 0.5 miles SE
  2. Seedes Bank - 0.7 miles SSE
  3. Ballyhack - 1.2 miles SSE
  4. Passage East - 1.3 miles SSE
  5. Arthurstown - 1.5 miles SE
  6. Little Island - 1.8 miles WSW
  7. Duncannon - 2.3 miles SE
  8. Port of Waterford - 2.6 miles W
  9. Dollar Bay - 3.5 miles SSE
  10. Creadan Head - 3.5 miles SSE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Buttermilk Point - 0.5 miles SE
  2. Seedes Bank - 0.7 miles SSE
  3. Ballyhack - 1.2 miles SSE
  4. Passage East - 1.3 miles SSE
  5. Arthurstown - 1.5 miles SE
  6. Little Island - 1.8 miles WSW
  7. Duncannon - 2.3 miles SE
  8. Port of Waterford - 2.6 miles W
  9. Dollar Bay - 3.5 miles SSE
  10. Creadan Head - 3.5 miles SSE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Cheekpoint
Image: Michael Harpur


Cheekpoint, charted as Cheek Point, is a village set 10 miles within and on the western shores of Waterford Harbour. It is located at the confluence of the River Suir and the River Barrow, and fronted by a small, drying quay. The pretty village is set into Malting Woods, which rise up the 150-metre-high Minaun Hill immediately behind. The Barrow Bridge and Great Island Power Station, on the opposite shore, make the village easy to locate.


Cheekpoint’s North Pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Leisure vessels may anchor in a depth of 2.5 metres about 200 metres north of Cheekpoint Pier, just inside the channel. This is a better option in settled conditions as it is completely tide-rode and the boats need to freely swing with the tide to make it comfortable.


The slipway at Cheekpoint
Image: Michael Harpur


Shallow-draught vessels that can take to the mud will find complete protection dried out alongside the pier, but need to approach at high water. Up to 1.5 metres is available at springs and 0.6 metres at neaps, just inside the north wall. This decreases the further a vessel progresses into the inner harbour.


How to get in?
Cheek Point Headland as seen from the south
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. Approaching Cheekpoint, the confluence of the Rivers Suir and Barrow, Kilmokea Power Station and the Barrow River railway swing bridge appear to the north. Cheekpoint will be found on the port side on the southern shore, opposite the rail bridge.
Please note

On the outgoing stream be watchful for a strong riptide extending from Snowhill Point to Cheek Point. This is brought about by the meeting of the streams from the Rivers Barrow and Suir.




The marked channel leading into Cheekpoint
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix, set on the edge of the fairway and entrance to the approach channel (marked by two pairs of lit lateral buoys), the north pier will be clearly visible about 300 metres distant on a bearing of 250° T.


The channel as seen from the pierhead
Image: Michael Harpur


The east-northeast facing channel has a maintained depth of 1.1 metres LAT up to the end of the pier. At night the outer pair of lights are Q G, Q R, and the inner Fl(2) G 5s and Fl(2) R 5s.


The small harbour of Cheekpoint
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location The small harbour, save for the channel, dries out as much as 200 metres from the shore at low water. The outer end of the north pier, however, has a maintained depth of 2 metres at LAT.


Cheekpoint's North Pier as seen from the east
Image: Michael Harpur


Leisure vessels may anchor in a depth of 2.5 metres about 200 metres north of Cheekpoint Pier just inside the channel. This is a better option in settled conditions as the boats need to swing with the tide to make it comfortable. Good mud holding will be found here.
Please note

Vessels should anchor in such a fashion that they cannot swing out and encroach upon the shipping channel. Boats that swing out are likely to get moved by the Waterford harbourmaster.



The root of the north pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Boats planning to come alongside and take to the bottom need to approach at high water. The eastern pier was entirely replaced in 2013. As already mentioned, 1.5 metres will be found at springs and 0.6 metres at neaps just inside the north wall, but this decreases the further a vessel progresses into the inner harbour.


The inner side of the east wall
Image: Michael Harpur


Boats planning on a short visit will find their best option alongside the outer side of the north wall or the very end of the west face of this wall. An extra metre will be found on the outside walls, providing a tidal visitor with the most shore time.
Please note

Please be sensitive of local boatmen and fishermen who need to use this highly serviceable part of the harbour wall.




Why visit here?
Cheekpoint’s name is an anglicisation of the Irish Pointe na Síge, which translates to ‘point of the streak’. The name is thought to originate from a river rock called Carraig na Síge, which, near low water, showed a trail (or streak) of foam on the ebb tide.

The tides and abundant fish of the river would likely have meant this sheltered nook of the River Suir was inhabited thousands of years ago. The early settlers would have ascended the slopes of the Minaun Hill to watch over the landing area. Legend has it that the giant Cainche Corcardhearg, son of Fionn of the Fianna, was stationed here to keep a watch over Leinster. After the Norman conquest of Leinster, King Henry II granted the Bristol Aylward family 7,000 acres of pastureland, including Cheekpoint and its surrounds. The Aylward family held the area for more than half a millennium until the 'War of the Three Kingdoms', when they refused to renounce Catholicism. Oliver Cromwell invaded with his New Model Army in 1649 and summarily dispossessed the family, giving the estate to Captain William Bolton, one of his serving officers.

Faithlegg House is now a Hotel and Golf Course
Image: Tourism Ireland


Of the Boltons, it was Cornelius Bolton (1751–1829) who would almost singularly shape the Cheekpoint that we know today. He inherited the Faithlegg Estate from his father in 1779 and immediately showed himself to be a progressive landlord with a keen interest in developing the estate and helping his tenants. He built the impressive Faithlegg House, with its extensive surrounding grounds, in 1783. Around 1800 he established a cotton mill in Cheekpoint, as well as factories to make hosiery and ropes. He also built the limekilns just east of the green to make the lime used to whitewash cottages and ‘sweeten’ the land.

Sleater’s 1806 Topography of Ireland noted: “Mr Cornelius Bolton lives very retired in the country and has employed a considerable part of his fortune in building a large village where he has established several important manufactures, particularly looms. The industry which he encourages in his colony renders it probable that his expense will be repaid him, and that it will become an object of utility to the public and of profit to him although suggested by motives of humanity.


Bolton’s Inn as seen across the green from the harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


One of the most important fruits of Mr Bolton’s then described “spirited exertions”, was the establishment of the packet station from England at Cheekpoint. This was the station, or terminus, at which the mail and passengers arrived from Milford Haven, in Wales, for southern Ireland, and it provided Cheekpoint with the anchor tenant business from which it could become a very prosperous village. To capitalise on the trade, Bolton built Cheekpoint pier.

Sleater continues: “Mr Bolton spared neither trouble nor expense in making it a suitable landing place for the passengers on the packets to and from England... Bolton [as the area was renamed], formerly called Cheekpoint, cotton factory and hosiery, [was] established by Mr Bolton. A most commodious Inn for passengers in the packets to and from Milford Haven in Pembrokershire.” Clearly, the Boltons had transformed the area to such an extent that the name Cheekpoint had, at this stage, ceased to be used and it had instead taken on the name Bolton or Bolton Inn.


Cheekpoint during the early Victorian period
Image: Public Domain


However, the clouds of doom were to come almost in one fell swoop during 1814. The upper reaches of the Waterford estuary had presented some difficulty for sailing vessels, and so the British Government decided to move the packet station to the then much more accessible pier at Dunmore East. Sleater mentions this at his time of writing “…the diversion of these packets [from England] from Cheekpoint to Dunmore East would be a serious loss to the proprietor of Cheekpoint who had expended a considerable sum of money on hotels and other accommodations unless Parliament should take this loss into consideration.”
Despite Bolton's investment, on July 1, 1818, the mail packet station was moved to Dunmore East. When the shipping and passenger business diverted, the village’s enterprises all quickly failed and Cornelius Bolton sadly went bankrupt in 1819. In subsequent years the Dunmore East harbour silted and it too was to be made obsolete by the arrival of steam, which made the River Suir more easily navigable by packet ships. The packet station was subsequently transferred directly to Waterford and the Dunmore packet station was likewise abandoned.


Blessing of the fishing boats at Cheekpoint
Image: Public Domain


So, Cheekpoint’s industrial aspiration fell into terminal decline and the harbour continued as a small fishery harbour into the 19th and 20th centuries. The Green, above the harbour, was then a hub for the comings and goings of fishermen hauling out and repairing boats and nets. But this was vastly reduced during the 20th century, when the salmon and eel fishery was brought to a close for conservation reasons. While this was happening, Cheekpoint Bar was steadily encroaching upon the fairway, increasingly obstructing large vessels travelling to the Port of Waterford. In a bid to divert the bar, in 1995 a series of 200-metre-long groins were built out into the river to the west of Cheekpoint Harbour. An unfortunate consequence of these was the silting of Cheekpoint Harbour, making it suitable only for small craft able to take to the bottom.


A fishing boat dried out at Cheekpoint today
Image: Michael Harpur


Today Cheekpoint is a pleasant little fishing village. It offers views of the rivers and the 650-metre Barrow Bridge, which was in its time the longest rail bridge in the British Isles. Save for the outward vista of the industrial complex that is Great Island Power Station, it is an exceedingly beautiful village.


Barrow Railway Bridge and Great Island power station opposite
Image: Michael Harpur


Above the village, the 150-metre-high Minaun Hill (Gaelic for mountain meadow by a river) is still clothed in the Malting Woods, planted by Cornelius Bolton. It provides walkers with wonderful panoramas over the Suir estuary and nearby Faithlegg Golf Club. The Suir Inn, by the harbour, is still trading, largely within the same building that was built by the Bolton family. Likewise, his Faithlegg House is in pristine condition and now a hotel and golf resort.


Bolton’s Inn today, now the Suir Inn
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating perspective, this is an excellent place to stop off for lunch in a nice relaxed atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy several beautiful walks detailed on a public notice board immediately above the green. The pub serves excellent food, and there are some small provision shops within walking distance at Cheekpoint.


What facilities are available?
There is a good pub and small shop at Cheekpoint. Waterford city is a taxi ride from here and Waterford Airport is within 15km, which hosted regular flights to the UK and Continent prior to the collapse of VLM Airlines in June 2017. However, the airport (also Ireland's coast-guard base) is extending its runway with a view to bringing on future services. Dublin Airport, approximately 200km (2 hours’ drive), and Cork Airport, approximately 150km (also 2 hours’ drive), serve as alternatives.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred at this location.


With thanks to:
John Carroll, Ballyhack, County Wexford, Ireland.







An overview of Cheerkpoint



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