Eight years after we made the journey on a wild and windy February day, I retraced my steps on a glorious end of October morning. The road across the north coast of Clare was absolutely stunning in the sunlight and I actually came upon the one parking space faster than expected after leaving Ballyvaughan. Problem was, the one parking space was full! Fortunately there was another three-quarter space about 100 yards further on.
Strangely, I remembered this lighthouse as having a house and a garden attached but obviously I was thinking of another (possibly French?) lighthouse! Being located on the edge of the Burren, vegetation is somewhat sparse and you'd be hard pushed to find space to grow a turnip out here.
The lighthouse itself is comparatively knew, having been constructed in 1936 at the behest of the Galway Harbour authorities to help guide ocean-going liners through Galway Bay to the harbour, which used to be the case at that time. Being situated at the point where the southern shore of Galway Bay turns southwards, Black Head was marked out as the ideal location.
The solar powered panels (shown above) replaced the propane light in 1980 which in turn had replaced the original acetylene light. The light is a flashing white and red light every 5 seconds and the tower itself is 8 meters high, including the beacon. The light stands 20 meters above the high water mark.
The lighthouse was built by the Commissioner of Irish Lights on the condition that a) the money would be repaid and b) that the Galway Harbour Commissioners would maintain the light. This was agreed but unfortunately after the Second World War, transatlantic traffic stopped, as did much coastal traffic, and the Harbour folk announced they were unable to continue the maintenance of the light. So it reverted back to CIL ownership in 1955.
Sat nave reference - 53°09.253' North 009°15.839' West