Wicklow Head: 5 Things You Didn’t Know
Lightning strikes and heady heights…
1. Location, Location, Location
Perched in a beautiful spot in the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow Head Lighthouse stands just three kilometres from idyllic Wicklow Town. It’s also very close to the ruins of Black Castle, Baron Maurice Fitzgerald’s strategic 12th-century battlement. Between the historic lighthouse and these Anglo-Norman castle remnants, you’re sure to step back in time during your visit here.
2. Two of a Kind
Part of a pair of twin lighthouses, you’ll see a similar-looking tower close by, Wicklow Head Lighthouse and its sibling were built to prevent mariners’ likely confusion with other nearby lighthouses. As Howth Head stands on the north of the coast and Hook Head sits down in the south, the Wicklow headland got its own pair of lighthouses in 1781. Their bright lights first shone on 1st September of that year.
3. Pieces of Eight
In the early years of their lifespan, the two towers at Wicklow Head both supported an eight-sided lantern on their summits. The light source in each lantern at that time was 20 tallow (animal fat) candles, placed at the focus of an impressive mirror reflector.
4. Lightning Strikes
The tower of Wicklow Head lighthouse was struck by lightning on the night of 10th October 1836. This, unfortunately, caused a massive fire and the tower’s lantern and each floor of the lighthouse were completely destroyed. Despite the lantern having been lost, George Halpin – the famed lighthouse engineer – recommended that the tower remain in place as it provided an essential landmark by day. The brick dome still-visible on the lighthouse tower today was built in 1866.
5. A Stay to Remember
What better way to truly get to grips with this area and building’s exceptional history than by actually staying in it? Beautifully refurbished by the Irish Landmark Trust, climb the winding steel staircase (all 109 steps!) and enjoy a stay across six octagonal rooms, each on their own floor.
With the kitchen nestled at the tower’s very top, you’ll have quite the appetite by the time you reach it. Surrounded by incredible sea views, a stay here is simply an unforgettable one. Book yours now!
Find out more about the captivating Great Lighthouses of Ireland. Whether visiting or staying overnight, start planning your trip today.