Color Your World : Indigo

 

Lighthouse window

This old indigo window in a lighthouse looks out on a calm indigo sea at the Old Head, Kinsale.

Linked to Jennifer’s Color Your World

 

Wordless Wednesday : Another Day, Another Lighthouse

Galley Head Lighthouse, Co Cork

Galley Head Lighthouse, Co Cork

Black and White Tuesday : 2 June 2015

Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse

Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse

The Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse

Yesterday we were very fortunate to be able to visit The Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse, fortunate because as this is a fully operational lighthouse, it is only open to the public one weekend a year, to raise funds for the restoration of the nearby Old Head Signal Tower and Lusitania Memorial Garden.

The black and white lighthouse

The black and white lighthouse

The road leading to the lighthouse is part of the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Links, a private golf club, and is usually not open to the public, for obvious reasons like dangerous cliffs and flying golfballs! This course is built almost on an island, jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean, with the lighthouse at the end.   With the swirling winds and sheer cliffs at each side, you would have to be a very experienced golfer to play here! Have a look at the link above to see the ‘interesting’ cliff top greens.

Golf club house

Golf club house

Golf, but not for beginners.

Golf, but not for beginners!

There has been a lighthouse at the Old Head since 1665.  The first was a cottage type building with an open coal fire in a brazier on the roof, which was replaced in 1804 by a lantern with twelve oil lamps and reflectors.  Eventually in 1853 the present lighthouse was built, and is fully automated, so there are no lighthouse keepers any more, but that is the case almost everywhere, and such is the price of progress.

It was just off this coast in 1915 that a German U boat torpedoed and sank the RMS Lusitania, with the loss of over 1100 passengers, and the wreckage still lies under the waves close by.

Commemoration stamp for the sinking of the RMS     Lusitania

Commemoration stamp for the sinking of the RMS Lusitania

 

 

 

A Lazy Sunday at Ballycotton

Sailing away

Today was a nice day for a stroll, and what a great place to be, in Ballycotton in East Cork, looking out at the lighthouse and a very calm sea.

Time to explore.

 

The Old Head of Kinsale

We had a pleasant, long, rain-free, walk from Ballinspittle to the Old Head of Kinsale, and back again on Sunday, a round trip of about 14 km, and boy were  my feet feeling the pain at the end!    We walked from Ballinspittle, mainly on road, and it was a welcome relief to come to Garrettstown and White Strand beaches, and walk along the sand and see the windsurfers having a great time with the strong winds.

After leaving the beach we walked as far as the old Signal Tower at the Old Head.   Unfortunately we could not go in to view the lighthouse, as all the land surrounding it is owned by the Old Head Golf Club, and walkers are not encouraged  allowed to go beyond the gates.    There are only a few days a year when access to this area is allowed for us normal folk who are not members of this private elite golf club!

The history of light keeping at the Old Head goes back to the 1600′s and the current lighthouse was built in 1846, it stands 30 metre’s tall and roughly 76 metre’s above the water. The lighthouse became automated on the 1st of April 1987.

It also witnessed the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, and of the 1900 people on board, more than 1200 people were drowned, including over 100 Americans.    This action is said to have encouraged America to enter World War 1, as the Lusitania was mainly used for ferrying goods and people between England and America, and was not involved in the war.

By Hook or By Crook

Hook Head Lighthouse in County Wexford is one of the oldest lighthouses in Ireland.   It is about 800 years old, and still looking remarkably well for such an old bird, though I am sure some major renovations and updating have been done over the years.    If you get there during opening times (which unfortunately we didn’t) you can get a guided tour, and climb the 115 steps to the top, for a great view and an insight into the workings.    There are guided tours, military re-enactments and of course friendly ghost tours – what would an old building be without it’s friendly ghost!

The phrase  ‘By Hook or By Crook‘ is said to have its origins in this part of the world, and when Cromwell invaded Ireland, he had his sights on Loftus Hall, which lies between Hook Lighthouse and the village of Crook, and the story goes that he wanted this place ‘by hook or by crook (by any means possible)

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