The towers, off the coast of Antrim, were designed by George Halpin himself, who supervised their erection. The tower on the northern rock, known as the West Tower, (obviously!!) was 84 feet above high-water with a visibility of 13 miles, and the tower on the southern rock, known as the East Tower, was 94 feet high and visible for 14 miles. The two towers were a half mile apart. The lights were first exhibited on 5th January 1829 at a cost of £37,000 .
Unfortunately, Thomas McKenna’s father frowned on the liaison, for some reason lost in the mists of time. So young Thomas secretly built a boat and used to row over to the other lighthouse half a mile away on the sly. His father, however, found the boat and smashed it to pieces. Undaunted the pair continued to converse, first by semaphore ('making love telescopically,' as one commentator put it) and later by carrier pigeon, until such time passed as young Thomas secretly built himself another boat, supposedly named 'The Conquering Hero'. Then one night, he rowed over to the other island, picked up young Mary and then made for Carrickfergus on the mainland, where they were quickly married.
Faced with this fait accompli, you’d have thought that the older McKenna would have accepted the course of true love but apparently, he still had a snot on him and so Thomas and Mary were allocated another lighthouse, after which they lived happily ever after.
Most commentators ambiguously give the date of this story as 'the 1800s.'
It was very unusual for a widow to have her maiden name entered on the death cert but extremely useful for future genealogists