Blackrock had hosted a strategically placed beacon since the 18th century helping vessels using the posts of Killala and Sligo, but a storm in 1814 had washed it away and the merchants along that coast were anxious to see it re-established.
Two years later some rudimentary repair work was carried out but it wasn’t until 1819 that a new more solid unlit beacon 15.5 metres high was built.
It was proposed that a “Metal Man” would be erected on top of the beacon, identical to the one at Newtown Head in Tramore, but the local shipowners were less than enamoured with that idea and pushed for the existing beacon to be converted to a proper lighthouse, while the metal man should be positioned on Perch Rock off Oyster island in Sligo Harbour.
The metal man got his perch, but the lighthouse had to wait another twelve years. The solid beacon was used as the base of the new 25 metre tower, hence the outside spiral staircase to the entrance door well above the high water mark. The light was established on 1st June 1835 and in 1863 two panniers or additional rooms were added to the outside of the structure about midway up. These were necessary extra stores given that the half the tower was a solid mass! In the 1930’s, the tower’s colour was changed from white to white with a black band in the centre. Originally oil fired, the lighthouse was converted to acetylene in 1934 and to electricity in September 1965. The Panniers were removed in the 1970’s.
Location: 54°18.460′ North, 08°37.059′ West.
Elevation: 24 m
Character: Fl WR 5s
Range: W: 19 km, R: 15 km
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