Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wicklow Head High Lighthouse (2) Revisited

 Okay, following on from the explanation given in the previous post (see, were you paying attention?), this is the new high light which was established in November 1818 and replaced the octagonal beauty of 1781. It was built at a lower elevation, near the site of the old low light, which was demolished.

 The tower is seventy five feet high and still has the rail, though the lantern was discontinued and removed in 1865 when, to repeat a familiar story, they finally realised that it was built at far too high an elevation and was often obscured by fog

This, incidentally is another George Halpin senior, light

View from the old compound looking down towards the tower.

This view gives a rough idea of the location of the dwelling houses. The wall running down the left and then cutting across to the lighthouse itself was the outer wall of the compound. The keepers houses, sheds, outhouses etc were built in the small square bottom left of the picture (the outline of the walls can still be seen) and covering about one quarter of the whole compound area. There were also buildings on the right side of the picture.

An old photograph of the lighthouse looked in its heyday. Ah, I hear you say, the light was discontinued in 1865, but this looks a much more recent photograph. Well spotted. The upper 1818 tower and what were the two keepers cottages were leased from 1891 to the Admiralty (Coast Guard); Board of Works who took over in 1922, one or two private lessees; and from 1935 until 1942 the Irish Youth Hostel Association. 

Access was through the gate seen on the left side of the picture below (about halfway up)

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