The tapering Hook Peninsula, located in the south-western corner of county Wexford, forms the eastern boundary of the great estuary known as Waterford Harbour. The bedrock consists of two types of sedimentary rock - old red sandstone and limestone. A band of old red sandstone runs across the peninsula from Broomhill to Carnivan. For centuries this was quarried at Herrylock to make millstones, water troughs and other objects.
The point of Hook Head consists of fossil-bearing carboniferous limestone. The limestone rock was burned in the many limekilns on and around the peninsula to produce a powder - quicklime - which had many uses. It was added to the soil to improve it's quality and sweeten the grass. It was also mixed with sand to make lime mortar for building stone walls and houses.
The Waterford Estuary was known as Comar na dtrí nUisce (the confluence of the three waters), because this is where the three sister rivers, Barrow, Nore and Suir enter the sea. The Vikings called it Vadra Fjord (the weather estuary) which was the origin if the name Waterford.
In the fifth century a monk named Dubhán established a monastery on the peninsula. The medieval church at Churchtown, built on the of Dubhán's monastery, incorporates part of the early Christian monastery. The headland became known as Rinn Dubháin (Dubhán's headland). Although dubhán is also the Irish word for fishing hook, it is likely that the headland got it's present name from the old English word Hook, meaning a projecting piece of land.
According to tradition, the monks from Dubhán's monastery erected the first fire beacon to warn seafarers to keep away from the dangerous rocks.