Monday, April 16, 2012

Broadhaven Light

This light is situated on the north eastern tip of the Belmullet peninsula. I thought I might be able to catch a glimpse of it on the drive from Bangor ro Belmullet but its just hidden out of sight. I daresay there are views from the eastern side of Broadhaven Bay.

 To reach the light, I set the sat nav for Knocknalina which seemed to be the nearest village to it. Anyway, after having arrived at my destination, I was still not near Broadhaven Bay, so kept going eastwards. As the bay came in sight I took a small road to the left with a brown signpost for Ballyglass Sea Angling. After a mile, the tarmac bent to the right but straight ahead down a pot-holed,untarmaced road I could see the lighthouse.
Like a lot of lighthouses, there was a locked red gate and dire warnings about trespassing. The keepers houses to the right appear to be in a state of disrepair, though I couldn't really get a good view of it. This was built as a daymark in 1848, only being lit in 1855, marking the start of the approach to Belmullet.

Eagle Island East

 This is the East, or more accurately, north light of Eagle Island. For rather fuzzy directions see the post for Eagle Island West (South) The two lights were both built in 1835 but this stone tower, originally 87ft tall, was deactivated in 1895 and cut down to a mere 40ft. As you can see from the photo below, it is located at the north (east) end of the enclosing wall, though, being unpainted and thus the same colour as the wall, it doesn't really stand out.

Eagle Island West

 Not quite sure why this is Eagle Island West! There are two lighthouses on the island which appears to run north to south. This is the more southerly one.
Right, don't ask me how I got there. I set the sat nav for a place called Aghadoon, which seemed it might afford the best views from the mainland. At Belmullet, it branched out west towards the west coast of the peninsular, which was okay except it then kept on asking me to turn right up grass-covered lanes. So I ignored it and continued on the road until I saw the sea. Here, there was a small road, leading north, which soon deteriorated into a gravel track. About a mile on I ended up opposite Eagle Island.
 It really is a spectacular sight and looked so peaceful and tranquil today. When I went to the Broadhaven Light, I met a man who lived with a view of the lighthouse and he says he has often seen the sea coming over the top of the light, which must be some view! He also told ogf a huge wave in the 1860s which actually broke the light.
The island is currently uninhabited, being served by the helicopter from Blacksod. Both the east and west lights were built in 1835

Blackrock Light, Mayo

Not to be confused with Blackrock Light in Sligo, this baby is situated about 12 miles west of Blacksod, out into the wild Atlantic.
On heading back from Blacksod towards Belmullet, take the first turn to the left, about 300 metres down the road. Another 300 metres takes you to the brow of the hill where this a car park below some kind of sculpture park. There are a number of islands out there - Blackrock is the one that looks like a volcano.Also built in 1864, there are much better photos here from people who have access to helicopters (unfortunately I left mine at home)

Blacksod Point

When you get to Belmullet follow the signs for the R313, heading south. Its about 20kms from Belmullet, past a bay of Caribbean azure water, right on until you can go no further and you come to the lighthouse at Blacksod Point Latitude 54°05.923' North Longitude 010°03.628' West.
A station was established here in 1864. Apparently the house was damaged by a freak wave in 1989 which seemed impossible on the lovely balmy afternoon I was there. Below, a plaque on the wall commemorates Blacksod's part in the Second World War.

Clare Island

Okay a trip to Clare Island would have meant catching the boat at 10am, walking to the far end of the island, walking back and then catching the next ferry back at 16.30. So I thought, from the map, I might just get a glimpse of it from Achill Island (which is joined to the mainland by a bridge) to the north.

A really spectacular location, perched high on top of a cliff, just a bit too far for a decent close-up photo but hopefully the snaps I took show off its dramatic position.

There was apparently a station established here since 1806, though the light was decommissioned in 1965 in favour of the Achillbeg Light across the sound. It was the second light to mark the entrance to Clew Bay, the first having been heavily damaged by fire. In recent times it has been a bed and breakfast and is now a holiday home.

Below, shows the cliffs of Clare Island to the left and the long sloping promontory of Achillbeg (small Achill) on which there is supposed to be the 1965 lighthouse that replaced Clare Island. However, from Bolinglanna, which is to the east of Achillbeg, there is no view of the lighthouse, even though I took to the peat bog fields all the way down to the cliff top to try and catch a glimpse of it. There appears to be no road to the island itself though there seemss to be a few ruined houses on it. Maybe there is a view of the light to the west of the island, though its a long way around to be proved wrong!


A beautiful Spring day, sunshine and the occasional shower, I decided to take a trip to Mayo to take in a few lighthouses. Inishgort was the first. It is situated on one of the thousands of islands in Clew Bay and no amount of Googling could help me as to where I could best see it from, if at all. Possibly there's a view from around the Croagh Patrick area and Beltra Strand but I thought I'd try Rosmoney first. (53° 49' 35.38" N 9° 37' 15.98" W)
Of course when I got to Rosmoney pier (about 5 miles north of Westport) there was no sign of the lighthouse but I set off along the shingle beach and after about 5 minutes where the shore takes a sharp left, the lighthouse hove into view. The pictures above and below taken from rthe small grassy hill above the beach

According to the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the tower was built in 1806 though the lighthouse directory throws some doubt on this, suggesting it may well date from 1827. The light was converted to solar power in 2000.