Hook Head Lighthouse Weird Thing




N 52° 07' 25.6"   W 006° 55' 45.6"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

X 73384 97365

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Saturday 15 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The wonderful lighthouse at Hook Head seen from the northeast.

This is the oldest intact operational lighthouse in the world.
According to the tradition, when St Dubhan came from Wales to this peninsula along with some of his followers, one of the first things he did was to lit a fire on these rocks as a beacon to warn sailors from the risk of the dangerous rocks of this coast. It was 452 AD and the monks of the monastery that the saint founded tended this fire for about 700 years, until this lighthouse was built. The early beacon was most likely a simple stove burning timber or other available fuels.
A more modern tower for the beacon was built in 1245 by William Marshal, first Earl of Pembroke, and was given in the custody of the monks who were, by then, affiliated to the Priory of Saint Augustine in Ross.
Originally the tower was 18 metres tall and 8.50 metres in diameter, but in the following years it was enlarged to 24 metres high and 12 metres in diameter, with a spiral staircase between the inner wall and the new outer wall. This new addition brought the total thickness of the walls in excess of 4 metres. Above the tower was then added a smaller turret which housed the fire and in more modern times an electric lamp with a dioptric lens.
It was fully automated in April 1996.
The current lighthouse is 36 metres tall and is wonderfully painted in black and white stripes.
Adjacent the lighthouse there's a visitors' and information centre.

This was the second time that we came down here, the first visit was on June 16th, 2007.

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