A brief history of the Hook Peninsula and Loftus Hall

cromwell-painting (1)Hook Head (Rinn Duáin) is a headland in County Wexford, Ireland, located on the east side of the estuary of the three sisters rivers (the Nore, Suir and the Barrow). It is part of the Hook peninsula and is adjacent to the historic townland of Loftus Hall. It is situated on the R734, 50 km from Wexford town. 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 the estuary) or by Crook (a village on the Waterford side) made by Oliver Cromwell.

Loftus Hall is a large mansion house on the Hook peninsula, County Wexford, Ireland. It is said to have been haunted by the devil and by the ghost of a young woman.

20130724untitled shoot-28197x132The Redmond family built the original house in 1350 during the time of the Black Death. It replaced their original castle at Houseland near Portersgate. The Hall became the property of the Loftus family in the 1650s as a result of the Cromwellian confiscations and this was confirmed after the Restoration of King Charles II of England by the Act of Settlement 1662.The building that exists today was heavily renovated between 1870 and 1879 by the 4th Marquess of Ely. In 1917 Loftus Hall was bought by the Sisters of Providence and turned into a convent and a school for young girls interested in joining the order. In 1983, it was purchased by Michael Deveraux who reopened it as “Loftus Hall Hotel”, which was subsequently closed again in the early 1990s.

hook by nightIt was privately owned by Deveraux’s surviving family until late 2011, when it was sold to its current owners, the Quigley family from Carrig on Bannow.

The name ‘Loftus Hall’ is also applied to the townland surrounding the mansion. The entire townland of Loftus Hall, including the building itself, can be overlooked from Hook Lighthouse.