Bringing light into darkness

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Where: Wicklow, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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Standing proud and distinctive on Wicklow Head the lighthouse was an essential beacon for the many ships sailing along the Irish Sea. Our great hope is that we can get a little more information on it than we did on the Emmetts Cricket Club from Skerries?

With thanks in particular to sharon.corbet, Niall McAuley and BeachcomberAustralia we learned that there are actually a number of lighthouses on Wicklow Head. This quick flyover video shows their relative positions. One of the earliest examples, the "Rear Lighthouse" is "behind" the photographer here, further inland, and was built in 1781 and is now a holiday rental operated the the Irish Landmark Trust. The most recent, somewhat over the "hump" we see here and closer to the water, was built in the 19th century and is still active and operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights. The one pictured here, effectively between the other two, dates from the 18th century, but is apparently seen here after some 19th century developments. The "outbuildings" are no longer standing - though the tower itself remains....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_CAB_09039

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 18813
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland lighthouse wicklowhead irishlights lighthouses rearlighthouse frontlighthouse tobesuretobesure commissionersofirishlights coastguard signallingstation lawrencephotographcollection

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    domenico milella

    • 30/Jul/2018 07:53:16

    Congratulation for your beautiful Album.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 30/Jul/2018 07:56:26

    There were 4 lighthouses on Wicklow Head: "Two lighthouses, one on Long Hill, the other on the saddle of the head, were built by the Revenue Commissioners to the design of John Trail their engineer, who previously had been involved with the Grand Canal Company between 1769 and 1777. The two lights were established on 1st September 1781. They not only marked the headland but prevented mariners from confusing Wicklow Head with Howth and Hook Head, both of which had single lights. " "Approval to build two new lighthouses was obtained from Trinity House and the Lord Lieutenant in 1816, and work commenced before the end of the year. Mr George Halpin, the Board's Inspector of Works, designed and supervised the building of the lighthouses which was carried out by the Board's tradesmen. Both towers were erected on the same bearing as the 1781 towers, with the new upper lighthouse close to the old front tower and the new front lighthouse tower down the cliff, 37 metres above high water level." From here.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 30/Jul/2018 08:01:29

    Google photosphere of this one, the upper 1818 lighthouse. Reverse view showing one of the 1781 lighthouses behind. The lower 1818 lighthouse.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jul/2018 08:08:22

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet] The GeoHive 6" from the 1830s shows this as the Upper lighthouse, by the time of the 1908 25" survey, it was disused.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jul/2018 08:12:50

    From https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet's link :Coinciding with the discontinuance of the upper light in June 1865, the lower light was improved; , so this light was inactive for the entire span 1865-1914.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jul/2018 08:17:17

    One more quote from that page: Before concluding, it is interesting to note that the upper 1818 tower and what were the two keepers cottages were leased from 1891 to the Admiralty (Coast Guard); Given how shipshape the cottages look, I think we may be in this period, 1891 to 1914.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jul/2018 08:34:54

    The neighbouring shot in the archive, L_CAB_09040, shows the lower lighthouse and three boys. In the 1901 census, I don't see any suitable family of boys on Dunbur Head. George Gillespie, the keeper, has older children and two are daughters. Isaac McKeague in 1911 is a possible fit, with 2 boys aged 4 and 2. In 1911 there are also a boy of 5 at the farm up the road. So that photo at least is a better fit near 1911 than 1901.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jul/2018 08:51:27

    In nearby L_CAB_09041 I see these houses from 1906.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Jul/2018 08:53:43

    While L_CAB_09035 is before the 1912 apse.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 30/Jul/2018 09:24:18

    What a lot of lighthouses! How confusing! What is the collective noun for several lighthouses? Flickr is sometimes amazing! In June 2018 via https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/43462315521/

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 30/Jul/2018 09:44:58

    Was Mr French on top of the earlier 1781 lighthouse to get this height and angle?

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    Swordscookie

    • 30/Jul/2018 11:22:05

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ perhaps a "Dazzle"😁😁😁

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    B-59

    • 30/Jul/2018 11:59:26

    Photo by bpc1930: www.flickr.com/photos/bpc1930/38492586932/

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    Foxglove

    • 30/Jul/2018 19:54:00

    there is a "group" called lighthouses of the world if you wish to add

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 30/Jul/2018 22:19:27

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie A "fallacy" of lighthouses? *banished to the pun bin*

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Aug/2018 00:03:29

    Thanks https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet, https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley, and https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia. With apologies for the belated followup, I've updated the map, tags and description to attempt to summarise the fantastic inputs. Much oblidged!

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    coordinated window

    • 29/Aug/2018 10:43:09

    Fantastic photograph. I live not far from here and have always wondered how it looked back in its operational days.