Roches Point 1862
It was, however, not so important as to waste the expense of a second keeper at the light. From 1817 to 1861, Roches Point was a one-keeper station, the sole keeper being expected to stay alert and vigilant during the 14 hours of winter darkness, to attend to all the repairs and painting and cleaning.
A sketch of Roches Point by Ballast Board, later Irish Lights commissioner, Robert Calwell in the 1860s.
For those of you who yearn wistfully for the tranquil and romantic life of a lightkeeper, the following excerpt is taken from an inspection committee report of visiting the station in 1859, when Bradley was still in Sole charge.
As there are great complaints of this lighthouse not showing well beyond a short distance to seaward, we think it advisable to state that we saw no symptoms of neglect anywhere. If, however, lights require careful and constant attention to prevent them burning dull, we deem it probable that where there is only one keeper, considerable intervals will elapse without any attention being paid to the lights. It is not possible that in a long winter night of fourteen hours, one keeper can keep his attention constantly alive. He will, we believe, inevitably go to sleep.
(The duck story, incidentally, is mentioned here - note the report mentions the keepers (plural) in the lighthouse)
Irish Lights inspection photograph by Sir Robert Ball at Roches Point c. 1905 (Photograph courtesy the National Library of Ireland)