Set high on a hill overlooking Waterford Harbour, Duncannon North Lighthouse or Duncannon North Rear Range Light, to give it its full name is a rarity in Ireland in being a privately-owned lighthouse that is still operational, although these days, the Port of Waterford, its guardians, use it only as a back up light.
Alongside its sibling at Duncannon fort, the North lighthouse formed a leading light to guide ships over the bar at Duncannon.
This is in fact the original lighthouse that stood in Roches Point in Cork. After 20 years of service it was deemed too small to accommodate a lantern big enough to maintain a strong light. Built in 1817, the lighthouse was dismantled block by block and in 1838 was shipped to Duncannon. It was then transported by horse and cart up the hill and reassembled in its present site.
The light was originally oil-burning but was converted to acetylene in 1937 and to electricity in 1971. It was decommissioned in 1991 and recommissioned in 1996.
Inactive since 2006
Location: 52°13.738′ North, 06°56.225′ West.
Duncannon lighthouse, the last time I checked, inhabited the uncertain ground of being decommissioned, but on call for duty should the need arise. After years of darkness, it must have been interesting for the owners of the house to see the beam stretch out again across the Suir after the Waterford Harbour authority put it to use as a back up light some years ago.
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