It’s positioned at the northern tip of the Mullet peninsula and as a harbour light, guides vessels from seaward clear of a sunken rock on the western side of Broadhaven into a safe anchorage.
The original light was intended simply as a beacon tower, but after strong representations from local interests in Belmullet and with the general approval of the authorities, the 15 metre tall tower was fitted with a lantern and a dwelling and store added. At 26 metres above high water, the light was visible for 22 kilometres, showing white to seaward and the east side of the haven and red to the west .
Broadhaven was converted to unwatched acetylene in December of 1931 and the bare stone tower was painted it present white hue. It was converted to electricity in 1971.
From Broadhaven into Blacksod Bay there stretches the remains of an ambitious canal started in 1715 by Sir Arthur Shaen, a local landlord at Erris. His intention was to drain the marshy land, establish the new town of Belmullet and create a passage between the two bays. By the mid 18th century however the canal was silted up and despite work on dredging it, it remained a losing battle and maintenance ceased at the century’s end. Today it is little more than a stream that dries out with the tides.
Location: 54°16.065′ North, 09°53.330′ West.
Elevation: 27 metres
Character: Iso WR 4s.
Range: W: 32 km, R: 22 km
Broadhaven is not as exposed as its nearest sibling, Eagle Island, but it can get stormy all the same. While lighthouses look very attractive on a calm sunny day, with waves crashing around them as I’ve illustrated here, they’re just as, if not more alluring.
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