Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Muldersleigh Hill, Whitehead

 Yup, I know what you're thinking. Doesn't look much like a lighthouse to me neither. But I reckon it might have been one once...
 Muldersleigh Hill sits above Blackhead Light, north of the town of Whitehead on the peninsular called Islandmagee. Back in the 1660s, six lighthouses were patented around the coast of Ireland. Of these original six, one was at the Old Head of Kinsale, one at Barry Oge's Castle, Kinsale, one at Hook Head, one at Howth (on land), one at Howth (sandbar) and the sixth at Isle of Magee (sic) The lights consisted of coal braziers on the roofs of cottages and the two at Howth sandbar and Isle of Magee were very shortlived.
Kevin McCarthy's book "Lighthouses of Ireland" says "The Blackhead headland, surrounded by a stony beach, rises to 211 feet above sea level to the north-east of Whitehead. Its prominent position at the north east entrances to Belfast Lough made it an ideal site for the first lighthouse built in the area in 1665 at the order of King Charles II.  However it was abandoned within three years of its construction."
Where exactly this cottage was, nobody seems to know. However in "An Historical Account of the Diocese of Connor" by the Rev. James O'Laverty (1833), there is a single sentence that says "On the summit of Muldersleigh Hill are the ruins of a light-house..."
Unfortunately judging by all the trespassers out signs, Muldersleigh Hill appears to be private property, so I had to content myself with a view from the road.

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