Did you know that Cheekpoint was the hub for all Waterford domestic mail back in the 1800’s?

Steamboat Cheekpoint
The pretty village of Cheekpoint used to be the main port of call for packet ships to transport domestic mail and passengers from the UK to southern Ireland. Read on!

In the late 18th Century, Cornelius Bolton, a forward-thinking landlord wanted to invest in Cheekpoint so he built a pier, a textile factory and a hotel. He had a keen interest in making the village into a thriving stop-off point for visitors to the Southeast of Ireland from the UK and spared no expense in doing so. This guy obviously saw Waterford’s potential (we like him already)…

Bolton saw to it that the village became the go-to station for mail packets coming over from Milford Haven in England. Packet boats, some of them steam-driven, were used to carry mail and freight between countries. The boats were packed with mailbags like the one pictured below:

Mailbag
Packet Mailbag
Source: nmmc.co.uk

On 5th April 1787, The Cheekpoint Packet was officially opened with one ship and one sailing per week. The service was to cater for 38 towns in southern Ireland, all going through Cheekpoint. Just a couple of months later, the packet service had increased to five trips weekly and even more by August -with five ships were running over 6 days. How bad!

Mailpacketsboats
Packet boats transporting mail and passengers across the channel

Daisybank House, Cheekpoint opened as a Coaching Inn in 1793, serving the mail packet station at Cheekpoint. It was where passengers on the packet ships got to rest and have a drink after a long voyage across the seas from Wales and Milford Haven.

Daisybankhouse

Daisybank House, possibly built as a harbour master’s house or a barracks.

In 1813, the mail service was transferred to Passage East and then on to Dunmore East. Seemingly the distance from the harbour’s mouth was too far for ships, plus they had to depend on the tide for docking.

Andrew Doherty shares his fine knowledge of Cheekpoint

If you’d like to hear a bit more about the history of this pretty, fishing village, then watch this clip to learn more about the packet ships and mail service that contributed to the making of Cheekpoint.

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