Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nerrano Man, Dalkey

 This statue of a sailor stands in the garden of a house in Dalkey looking out to say. The house is called Nerrano House and was recently for sale at over €3million. And the lighthouse connection?
The figure of the Metal Man was designed by Thomas Kirk in 1816 to be erected in Sligo Bay as a lighthouse. Apparently there were four figures cast from the mould. One went to Sligo and can still be seen there. A second was placed on top of a large pillar at Brownstone Head down in Tramore. He has become a symbol of the town.
 And the other two? Nobody knows but the most recurring legend is that one went to Dalkey and the other went to Sydney Australia. There is no sign of the one in Sydney anywhere and its probably lying at the bottom of the ocean somewhere. The legend of the Dalkey Metal Man may have come from this figure which stands in the grounds of a house once owned by the McAnaspie family.
Unfortunately, this figure is notheing like the figures in Sligo and Tramore. The arm positions are different (see the stereotypical gay pose of the Metal Man in Sligo in the picture below), he has a hat, the legs are straight etc. Obviously not a chip off the old block. The McAnaspies had a plaster and ornamental business but it is not known whether Nerrano Man was an advertising technique or was used to guide ships into the harbour at Dalkey.
Metal Man, Rosses Point

The Muglins, Dalkey

 I had read on the web that there was a new ferry from Colimore Harbour to Dalkey Island. From there, you would get a good close up view of the Muglins.
 There was no sign of a ferry at Colimore Harbour so I had to make do with these (not too bad) shots from the mainland. The ferry is only newly licensed. I had read there was a notice on a door in the harbour giving the number to ring if you wanted the ferry but I couldn't find any such number.
 I quite like this lighthouse. The locals regard it as more of a beacon than a lighthouse but it is officially a lighthouse. It started life as a white beacon in 1880 and then acquired its red stripe in 1883. In 1979, it was officially welcomed into the lighthouse fraternity.
You can hire a boat apparently in nearby Bulloch Harbour but you need a second person with you (they don't allow single people to hire boats) It costs €40 per hour and a quick demonstration of how a boat works is given.

Kish Light Revisited

 In September 2012, I took the ferry to Holyhead to get a close up view of this light. Unfortunately it wasn't entirely successful. These shots were taken from Colimore Harbour in Dalkey and to be honest are much the same (judge for yourself here)
 This lighthouse incidentally was constructed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour before being towed out to its location and sunk.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Lights

 East Marina Breakwater Light
 West Marina Breakwater Light
Outside the West Pier
 West Marina Breakwater Light
 Near the West Marina Breakwater Light
  Near the West Marina Breakwater Light
 East Marina Breakwater Light
 Traders Wharf
 Traders Wharf
Commissioner of Irish Lights Building. This must be new. I'm pretty sure it wasn't here the last time I was here.

Dun Laoghaire East Pier Revisited

 It is somewhat ironic but the best view of the East Pier Light is from the West Pier. If you walk the EastPier, you come up against a high stone wall, behind which the top of the lighthouse sticks out. However, from across the harbour entrance, no such wall exists.
The East Pier Light was established in 1847. When they were building the pier they had a temporary wooden beacon with a light exhibited on the end of the pier, moving it constantly as each section of the pier was built. Presumably this counts as a Lost Lighthouse!

Dun Laoghaire West Pier Revisited

 Of course. I've been to Dun Laoghaire many times over the years but for some reason I have always walked the more popular East Pier. By my calculations, though, I hadn't walked the West Pier since 1981 - don't ask how I remember it! The West Pier is actually a lot longer and parking nearby may be a problem but I got there slightly after 7am and actually got to park on the pier itself (the few spaces available are only payable from 9am!)
 The West Pier Lighthouse was established in 1852, five years after its brother across the harbour entrance.

When the East Pier lighthouse was made into a three keeper light, the principal keeper and his family moved out to the house on the West Pier above. I assume he rowed over every morning and back every evening - it's one helluva trek from one pier extremity to the other

Skerries Old Pier Light (Lost Lighthouse)

Skerries is a lovely fishing village in north county Dublin. A light has been exhibited from the end of Skerries pier since at least 1878. Since even before that time, there was a petition to have the pier extended, a petition that only bore fruit at the end of the 1960s.
The new pier head light was erected in the early 1980s, quite a while after the pier extension was complete. But what of the light that existed at the end of the shorter, earlier pier?
It's actually pretty easy to tell where the old pier stopped. On the harbour side, the old walls are whitewashed, the extension walls aren't. And on the seaward side, its fairly obvious where the stone wall ends and the concrete wall begins (second picture) But what did the old pier light look like? Well, all the records are in cold storage somewhere, but I did manage to dig out a few old photos - all of them, sadly, a bit far away!