Only half an hour from Belfast and on the Causeway Coastal route, Blackhead Lighthouse surveys the sea from the edge of a majestic cliff on the northern extremity of Belfast Lough and would have guided many famous vessels into and out of Belfast during its golden age of shipping, including the ill-fated Titanic.
For a change, this lighthouse wasn’t designed by George Halpin, but rather by William Douglass, the then engineer to the Commissioners of Irish lights.
The octagonal tower, standing 16 metres high was completed in 1902 and was at the time painted red. An explosive fog signal was also added to the station. In August of 1929 the decision was made to change the colour of the tower to white, presumably for reasons of visibility.
On 23rd September 1965 Blackhead Lighthouse was converted to electric and the intensity of the light was increased giving a range of 50 kilometres.
By 1975 the Lightkeepers were withdrawn from the Station and since then it has been in the care of a part-time attendant.
Today, Blackhead is one of twelve lighthouses which make up Great Lighthouses of Ireland, a new all-island tourism initiative offering visitors an opportunity to visit or stay in a lighthouse.
Location: 54°46.016′ North, 05°41.338′ West.
Character: Fl W 3s
Range: 50 km
All lighthouses are built to withstand ferocious weather, but some seem especially at home on clear sunny days rather than in the eye of a raging storm. Blackhead lighthouse, situated on the North Shore of Belfast Lough, sits majestically in the summer sunshine gazing across the waves in this illustration. The Landmark Trust operate the old lightkeeper’s houses as really nice holiday lets, so you have a good excuse to get up close!
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