The Hook Peninsula succeeds Newgrange and the Bend of the Boyne in the Irish Rural Landscapes series, an offshoot of the internationally successful Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape. This case-study explores the rich landscape of the compact and highly distinctive Hook peninsula in south-west county Wexford and places its layered archaeological legacy in an historical context. The Hook forms the eastern boundary of Waterford Harbour, the gateway to south-east Ireland. Because of its strategic nature, the harbour has played a central role in Irish history and this is reflected in the physical remains around its shores. This book connects these remains in the Hook peninsula with the historical record and places the local story into a wider narrative. The origins of present-day families are also discussed. By using a wide range of maps, colour photographs (many of them aerial) prints and illustrations, the gradual evolution of the cultural landscape from earliest times to the present day is traced. The need for modern developments to appreciate and respect the inherited environment, and to conserve it for future generations, is also examined.
Billy Colfer is a teacher and writer. His most recent publication was Arrogant Trespass: Anglo-Norman Wexford 1169–1400 (Duffry Press, 2002).