Built on the site of a 17th century fort, Valentia Island Lighthouse on Cromwell Point has stood against sea and invader for hundreds of years. Now, this gleaming white lighthouse on beautiful Valentia Island looks out across some of the most spectacular sights along the Wild Atlantic Way.
There’s much to enjoy in a visit to this lighthouse. Take a tour of the lighthouse tower and balcony. Be blown away by the dramatic scenery and big weather! Soak up the stories and the science as you learn about the people and technology that have guided ships safely home from sea over the years.
Valentia Island Lighthouse offers a great day out: fascinating history, inspiring views and a unique insight into island life.
A quick history
Valentia Island Lighthouse sits on the site of the 17th century Cromwell Fleetwood Fort, which guarded against the threat of invaders right up to the 19th century. You can still see the cannons overlooking the harbour.
The lighthouse was designed by George Halpin Senior, one of the most famous civil engineers of the time. The light was first exhibited in 1841.
A lighthouse keeper lived with his family on site until 1947, when the lighthouse was automated.
Did you know?
The fossilised footprints of a dinosaur are visible from the lighthouse. A Tetrapod (the first four-legged animal with a backbone) stepped from water onto land here over 300 million years ago.
A standing stone, thought to be from the Megalithic era, can be found close to the lighthouse.
On a good day from the lighthouse you’ll see the UNESCO World Heritage Site Skellig Michael and the remote Blasket Islands. You’ll also see the landing point for the transatlantic cable that connected Europe with North America for the first time in 1866. It marks the birth of our modern communications systems.
There is supposed to be a dungeon below the lighthouse.
It is one of 70 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights around the coast of Ireland and continues to provide a vital role in maritime safety today.