Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Portmagee Not-a-Lighthouse and Bray Head

Valentia Island, at the end of the Iveragh Peninsular, is linked to the mainland at its eastern end and a bridge near its western extremity, linking the island to the small fishing port of Portmagee. Halfway across the bridge is a structure that looks very like a lighthouse. But its not. Nor is it a coastwatch tower or lifeboat station.

The bridge was built in 1970 and consecrated by the infamous Bishop Eamon Casey. The middle sections of the bridge could be raised to let large boats pass through and indeed, this happened twice in 1970. But it hasn't happened since and the controls are now rusted. The tower houses the controls.

Above and below, pictures of Bray Head, the outermost part of Valentia Island. The structure in the picture tower is an old Napoleonic signal tower and the view above is the view from that tower. Note the two Skelligs in the distance. I include these pictures for the simple reason that this was the site earmarked for the only light between Loop Head and Cape Clear in 1818. However the Skelligs was chosen instead.

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