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 65 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights around the coast of Ireland and continues to provide a vital role in maritime safety today.