In among the sand dunes in the grounds of a private house, sits Drogheda North Light, one of three sisters built to guide ships past the treacherous sandbanks at the mouth of the Boyne. A light station was established here in 1842 but this light and its two colleagues date from the 1880’s. All three were decommissioned in 2000, and a restoration programme by the Drogheda Port Authority will soon commence to bring the light back to its former glory. The structure is set on an intricately intertwined set of cast-iron supports with a ladder leading up to the lantern itself, which has glazed panels. The light is set within boundary walls that also enclose the original lighthouse keeper’s house. For years, the lantern had a fixed light pattern, but when the Drogheda North Light was eventually connected to the electricity network back in the 1950’s, the signal was changed to a flashing warning. Three years later, the Drogheda North Light was changed again, to flashing red, while Drogheda West and East Lights kept white signals.
In time, the North light (and hopefully also the East and West lights) will form a perfect example of old lighthouse technology, long since obsolete, but fitting in well with other restored sea safety features in the area, such as the beacons and the old lifeboat house. When restoration work on the Drogheda North Light is completed, it will become part of the Boyne tourist trail. It will be open to the public for a number of days each year and for school educational trips.
Inactive since 2000
Location: 53 43.4455 North, 6 15.2806 West.
Elevation: 7 m
By contract with East and West lights, the North light is a picture of domestic bliss. Snuggling down in the garden of a private home, the lighthouse looks to lead a more sheltered life. To me it’s the epitome of maritime architecture. Even if you moved it sixty miles inland, the whole edifice would immediately remind you of the estuary, the sandy soil, and the cry of gulls.
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