Galley Head Lighthouse rises an imposing 53m above the roaring Atlantic ocean in the popular tourist haven of West Cork.
Galley Head is a gleaming white lighthouse that sits at the southernmost point of a picturesque headland known as Dundeady Island and is close to the charming market town of Clonakilty – home of the famous black pudding!
Irish Landmark Trust has restored two lightkeepers’ houses which offer self-catering accommodation with a difference. It’s the perfect base to pursue a wide range of outdoor activities from dolphin and whale watching, surfing at Inchydoney Blue Flag Beach to a historical walking tour of pretty Clonakilty.
Or you could simply relax and be refreshed by the scenery and serenity that surrounds you.
A quick history
Galley Head Lighthouse was built in 1875, during the heyday of lighthouse building.
When Galley Head was first constructed, it was the most powerful lighthouse light in the world.
The lighthouse’s lantern, dome and 21-metre tower are still painted white, just as they were in the 19th century.
The lighthouse was converted to electric operation in 1969 and automated in 1979.
Did you know?
The lighthouse’s original light could be seen in clear weather for a distance of 30km.
The lightkeepers at Galley Head would have witnessed the loss of the Lusitania in 1915 and sighted many British and German vessels during World War I and II.
Galley Head Lighthouse is a major shore light on the South Coast. Along with the Old Head of Kinsale and Fastnet Lighthouses, it’s an important aid to offshore navigation.
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.