A brief history of the Hook Peninsula

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, the 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.” A phrase derived from a vow made by Oliver Cromwell to take Waterford by Hook (on the Wexford side of the estuary) or by Crook (a village on the Waterford side of the estuary).

 

Loftus Hall Through the ages

Loftus Hall is a large mansion house situated on the Hook peninsula. It is Located on the right hand side as you drive towards Hook Lighthouse on the tip of the Hook Peninsula.

The first castle was built on the site in 1170 by the Norman Knight Raymond Les Gros. He changed his surname to Redmond to adapt an Irish identity.

The Redmond family built the Hall in 1350 during the time of the Black Death to replace the castle. It then became known as Redmond Hall.

Redmond 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. Redmond Hall then became Loftus Hall.

The building that exists today was heavily renovated between 1870 and 1879 by the 4th Marquess of Ely, John Wellington Graham Loftus in preparation for a visit from her majesty Queen Victoria.

This visit never happened and the family were left with a massive debt following all of the works. Following his death in 1889 and his mothers death one year later, the Bankrupt estate was put up for sale.

In 1917 Loftus Hall was bought by the Benedictine order of nuns who resided at the Hall for 18 years.  It was then taken over and run by The Sisters of providence as a school for girls interested in joining the order until the early 1980s.

In 1983 it was purchased by Michael Deveraux who reopened it as “Loftus Hall Hotel” which was subsequently closed again in the early 1990s.

It 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 Quigley Family have undertaken a huge commitment as the Hall was in a derelict state when it was purchased. They have secured the structure and are taking massive strides to re-generate the walled gardens, The courtyard and the house to ensure the future of Loftus hall for years to come.

 

The Legend of Loftus Hall

Loftus Hall stands alone and austere on the bleak landscape, This Backdrop adds to its eery story.

It is for many years said to have been visited by the Devil, so many people from the surrounding area are nervous to enter the place after dark.

Legend has it that during a storm at sea, a dark stranger approached the Hall on horseback after his ship was driven into nearby slade Harbour with rough seas. He was invited in to seek shelter and spent some days with the Tottenham Family who were living at the Hall at the time. The young Lady Anne Tottenham was especially taken with this dark stranger and fell head over heels for him. One night during a card game, she dropped a card and upon bending down to retrieve it, she noticed that this dark stranger had cloven hoofs instead of feet. As soon as he realised what she had seen, he shot through the roof in a ball of flames.

Anne never recovered, she went into a state of shock and madness and her family locked her in the tapestry room for fear that anyone would see her.

She died a couple of years later, still quite young, but her death was no release as servants and family members reported seeing her wandering through the house at night. The family had the local catholic priest Fr. Broaders exorcise the Hall but he could not exorcise the tapestry room.

This story has been told through the years and many have said there is something about Certain areas of the Hall, its atmosphere, the temperature and the general feeling of unease.

Since Loftus Hall was re-opened to the public in 2012 for house tours, people claim to have felt and seen things in the Hall that have left them wondering...

 

The House Tour

By taking a tour of the hall, you will learn the history of the hall through the ages, how the Hall has passed through many hands through the years and you will be a part of re-enacting the famous card game with the dark stranger that was the origination of The Legend of Loftus hall!

The Day tour is a family friendly, interactive tour led by one guide.

It may not be suitable for children under school age as some rooms are dark.

For more information on the Tour and The paranormal lockdowns please visit the booking page. For info on all other happenings at the hall, please visit the events page.

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LOFTUS HALL FACILITIES

 

Café

Gift Shop

Tour & Facilities are Wheelchair Accessible

Toilet Facilities

Free Wi-Fi

Private Beach

Courtyard

Newly Restored Walled Gardens

Fairy Door Trail within the Walled Gardens

On Site Parking

Only Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs allowed in the the Cafe, House and Gardens.

 
 

How to find us

Loftus Hall, Hook Head, Fethard on Sea, Wexford

GPS Co-Ordinates: 52.1485° N, 6.9107° W