Lying 12 miles off the west coast of Blacksod Bay, the 15 metre high round stone tower was constructed in 1862 and is County Mayo’s most westerly lighthouse. It is also the tallest offshore light in Ireland.
A Keepers Life on One of Ireland’s Most Remote Lighthouse Islands
The tower and dome are painted bright white and visible from some 22 miles away. Known locally as “An Túr”, the last lighthouse keeper left Blackrock in the 1980s and since 1999, solar panels now provide the light with energy to blink its unique show.
Viewing the archives, it is hard to imagine how the building was constructed on such a steep incline with limited resources and surrounded by dangerous and unforgiving waves. The rock was quarried right from the island and the tower and single-story keeper’s house built with the help of derricks and pulleys. The rock was such a dangerous place to live that lighthouse keepers children were tethered to the ground when playing outdoors!
From shocking shipwrecks to Luftwaffe gunfire, Blackrock Lighthouse has seen it all!
Although Blackrock Lighthouse is not accessible to the public, our tour guides will paint a picture of life for the early lighthouse keepers on this isolated rocky outcrop, as they faced months of bleak winter weather and destructive storms preventing their relief and hindering supplies. In one instance, a prolonged storm almost prevented a groom from reaching his bride and their nuptial ceremony in Binghamstown… almost! In August 1940, Blackrock Lighthouse found itself in the line of fire of a German Condor Bomber which destroyed the lantern panes and roof in a hail of bullets!
Find out more on one of our guided tours!
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