Valentia Island Lighthouse


Cromwell Point Lighthouse on Valentia Island, Co Kerry.

A4 (210 x 297mm) : 250g/m² archival art paper

A3 (297 x 420mm) : 250g/m² archival art paper

Artist: Roger O’Reilly

The artist signs each poster.

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A Bit of History

Valentia Island Lighthouse sits on the site of what was originally Cromwell Fleetwood Fort and is believed to have been constructed in the 16th century. It was one of two built on Valentia Island around this time. It’s named, not for Oliver Cromwell, notorious for the sacking of Drogheda and Kilkenny, but for Charles Fleetwood and Henry Cromwell, the Lords Deputy at the time of the Old Ironside’s campaign in Ireland.

A light at Cromwell Point was first suggested as far back 1828 by the Right Honorable Maurice Fitzgerald, Knight of Kerry. After the necessary surveys, work commenced, albeit a decade later, using the original enclosure of the fort with few alterations. By February 1841 the tower, 16.5 metres above mean high water was complete and the light was exhibited for the first time. It could be seen 20 kilometres out to sea in clear weather. Cromwell Point Lighthouse is a harbour light, intended to guide vessels from the sea and lead them through the northern entrance of Valentia Harbour past Harbour Rock.

The station was looked after by a single keeper and his family. It must have been a lonely life, wedged inside a damp ancient fort on the outer edge of Europe.

In November 1947 the light was automated, the keeper withdrawn and an attendant appointed to look after the light.

Today, Valentia is one of twelve lighthouses which make up Great Lighthouses of Ireland, a new all-island tourism initiative. Visitors can take a tour of the lighthouse tower and balcony and enjoy some of the most spectacular sights along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Location:    51°56.022′ North, 10°19.280′ West.

Elevation:   16 m

Character:  Fl WR 2s

Range:         W: 31 km, R: 28 km

A Note from the Artist

I’ve visited Cromwell point on many occasions, as much for the opportunity to drop in to the Lighthouse café on the hill overlooking the point, as for the chance to sketch the lighthouse itself. Next time you’re down that way, treat yourself. The views are spectacular too!




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