Off the north Antrim Coast, Rathlin West at Crockantirrive is one of three lighthouses on the island. Settling on this location for the lighthouse caused much discussion between Trinity house in London and the newly established Commissioners of Irish lights. An alternative position at Bull point was favoured by some and at one point it was even suggested that the fog station be at one location and the lighthouse at the other. Luckily sense prevailed, and the cliffside setting here at Crockantirrive was settled on.. The designer CW Scott was determined to avoid the errors of previous lighthouses that were placed at too high an elevation and so occasionally obscured by fog or low cloud. He decided to invert the light and built it into the cliff below the dwellings and store rooms. The construction took place between 1912 and 1917. The huge bank built at 45 degrees to the cliff consumed tonnes of concrete and to facilitate the transporting of materials for the new lighthouse a new pier and an inclined railway had to be built at Corraghy.
The “upside down” lighthouse was first established in March 1919 and later converted from a manned paraffin light to an unwatched electric. It is now monitored from Rathlin East Lighthouse. On the 30th November 1983 it was automated.
Rathlin West is one of the ‘Great Lighthouse of Ireland’ tourism initiative and visitors can now stay in the lighthouse and enjoy the spectacular surroundings.
Location: 55°18.052′ North, 06°16.815′ West.
Elevation: 62 m
Character: Fl R 5s (Red Visible)
Range: 41 km
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