About 2 km south of Fethard-on-Sea and 8km north-east of Hook Head Lighthouse, Baginbun is a secluded and picturesque bay with a distinctive Martello tower dating from the Napoleonic wars. It is hard to resist visiting a place with the Hobbit-esque name of Baginbun. One imagines a beautiful, hidden and exciting place, and Baginbun does not disappoint. The signs will bring you close to the Martello tower on the promontory. The beach lies to your left with Carnivan Bay Beach to your right.
Baginbun on the Hook Peninsula has been a military stronghold since 500 BC. The Martello tower is a remnant from the Napoleonic Wars, and now the beach is a place for families to come to picnic and play. This tranquil bay holds a dark history: it is the site of the second Anglo-Norman invasion in 1170. A small band of around eighty men came, led by the cunning Raymond le Gros who chose Baginbun for its ancient Irish fort, which he planned to use as a defence camp before attacking Waterford. Needing supplies, he sent his men to raid for cattle and they brought a herd back to the fort. It is estimated between 1,000 and 3,000 angry Waterford men marched to Baginbun, confident of beating the small army they met there. Raymond, however, ordered his troops to attack, then retreat in feigned panic. As the Waterford men charged after them, Raymond loosed the cattle in a stampede, scattering his attackers, killing many and capturing more. One struggles to imagine such a bloody battle on this picturesque shore.
Follow WildSwim.ie on Instagram @wildswimireland