In the early 18th century, Dublin had a thriving trade with ports throughout Britain and beyond, exporting linen and agricultural goods and importing wine, coal and luxury items for the great Georgian houses of Ireland. The shipping channel in Dublin Bay however was too shallow for larger vessels and ships were often forced to unload their cargo at Ringsend and transfer to smaller vessels or ‘lighters’ that could safely travel upriver.
Until 1800, most of the trade took place on the south side of the River Liffey, but with the opening of the new Custom House in 1791, port development shifted across to the north bank.
The original Custom House Dock opened in 1796 and in 1821 it was followed by George’s Dock, providing a vastly increased area of warehousing and storage vaults. These formed part of the new Custom House Dock Area. At this time, the original harbour light at the north wall was constructed, to guide shipping upstream to the landing stages.
In 1836 construction work began on deep-water berths at the North Wall and this was extended in the 1870’s. Further deep-water berths, in the Alexandra Basin opened shortly before World War I. In 1904 at the basin’s entrance, the present 12 meter high lighthouse was completed to replace its predecessor and painted black with two white bands.
The lighthouse is operated by the Dublin Port Company.
Also featured is one of the port’s two tugboats, the Shackleton.
Location: 53 20.7414 North, 6 12.9989 West.
Character: Fl 2s, 0.2s flash 1.8s eclipse, white
The North Wall lighthouse can’t really serve much of a purpose anymore. The illumination on the North Docks must surely render its puny light redundant. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to see it close up, as you need security clearance to get into the dock area, so this view is taken from across the river.
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