Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bull Rock

I wasn't sure if I'd be able to see this most isolated of lighthouses from the end of Dursey Island. Although only three miles away, I was afraid that the notorious mists and rains would descend. Instead we had glorious sunshine, although the ferocious winds made photography difficult.

The Bull Rock Lighthouse came into being after the Calf Rock lighthouse was blown down in 1881 and after a temporary light at the end of Dursey Point had been erected since. It first came into being on the first day of 1889 after a mammoth construction undertaking.The tower is 15m high and 91 metres above sea level. Even at that, the waves have been known to wash over it.

The light was converted to electric power on the 21 August 1974, increasing the candle-power still further to 4,500,000. From 25 April 1978 the light was exhibited in poor daylight visibility.
The fog signal was discontinued on 17 May 1989.
On 31st March 1991 the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation and the Keepers were withdrawn from the station. As part of the automation process the original lantern and optic, which was too large to be automated, were replaced by a much smaller lantern and quartz halogen lamps giving a high intensity light with low power consumption. The station was placed in the care of an Attendant, the aids to navigation being monitored via a telemetry link with Irish Lights at Dun Laoghaire.

The Commissioner of Irish Lights reported back in 2012 that the current light in the tower would be discontinued shortly and the light exhibited from a point higher on the island (presumably the square white building above) However, there has been no confirmation that this is complete.

The photographs above were taken from the westernmost tip of Dursey Island. From that position, the Bull Rock is partially obscured by the Cow Rock which is lower but longer. Hence you still have a good view of the lighthouse over the top of Cow Rock.

The photographs below were taken from the top of the final hump on Dursey Island before it sweeps down to the temporary lighthouse and the sea. Hence the division between the Cow Rock (foreground) and Bull Rock can clearly be seen.

51°35.521' North 10°18.073' West