Friday, May 3, 2013

Copeland Island (Lighthouse Island)

Driving east from Bangor, I was hoping to get a view of the former lighthouse on Copeland Island and its replacement on Mew Island. I drove up a private road in Groomsport, thinking I might get a view but unfortunately Mew Island itself obscured the lighthouse there, so I drove a mile further around the coast towards Donaghdee, where I found a layby that afforded me this view and the next one.
The lighthouse here was established in the early eighteenth century. In 1796, the coal fire light atop a cottage was replaced by a lantern in a 40ft tower. In 1810, a new 52 ft tower and lantern was erected. It served until 1884, when the new light at nearby Mew Island came into operation.
The stump of the tower can be made out by those with good eyes in between the dilapidated stone house and the modern whitewashed cottages.

From Samuel Lewis' County Down in 1833 "Lighthouse, or, as it is also called, Cross island, is about 1 mile (N. E) from Copeland island, and is one furlong in length and about half a furlong in breadth, comprising about 24 acres. The Lighthouse from which it takes its name is a square tower, 70 feet high to the lantern, which displays a light to the south-east, to guide vessels from the north and south rocks, which are 34 leagues distant, and to the north-west, to guard them from the Hulin or Maiden rocks lying between the mouths of Larne and Glenarm. The lighthouse is situated in lat.,54° 41' 15" (N) and long. 5° 31' (W), and the light is plainly seen at Portpatrick and the Mull in Galway, in Scotland, from the latter in which it is 10 leagues distant."


  1. Glad to see you have been out and busy photographing lights, I would love to get back to Ireland again one day and do more. Cheers, Neal

  2. Hi Neal,

    I hope you do! There'd be no difficulty in working out an itinerary to maximise your available time! Best wishes, Pete