Sheep's Head Lighthouse

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Sheep's Head Lighthouse

County Cork

Sheep's Head Lighthouse - panoramio.jpg
Sheep's Head Lighthouse
Grid reference: V71813387
Location: 51°32’35"N, 9°50’55"W
Height: 23 feet
Tower shape: Round tower on a square building
Tower marking: White
Light: Fl(3) WR 15s
Intensity: White, 59,000 cd; Red 15,000 cd
Focal height: 272 feet
Range: White 18 nautical miles,
Red 15 nautical miles
Built 1968
Owned by: Commissioners of Irish Lights
Website: Sheep's Head Lighthouse

Sheep's Head Lighthouse stands on a remote crag at Sheep's Head, County Cork, which headland marks the southern tip of Bantry Bay. The lighthouse was built in 1968 as a consequence of the development of the oil terminal at Whiddy Island, to a design similar to that on Achillbeg, built in 1965.

The lighthouse comprises a tower 23 feet high, providing a light placed 272 feet above sea level. The light is white, at 59,000 candelas through the arc 017º to 212º, and a red sector at 15,000 candelas through the arc 007º to 017º warns of the South Bullig rocks beneath the surface.


The opening of an oil terminal at Whiddy Island necessitated a new lighthouse at the mouth of Bantry Bay, both in view of the cliffs and the rocks, in particular the submerged South Bullig rocks, off Three Castle Head to the south of Sheep's Head. The remoteness of the stop and lack of a road posed challenges in construction and so the building materials and equipment for the lighthouse were lifted by helicopter from Kilcrohan, five and a half miles away: about 250 lifts were needed just for the material and electrical equipment: the helicopter returned to bring the lantern, optic and gear. Work was completed on 14 October 1968.


The operation of the lighthouse was originally monitored by the Keepers at Mizen Head Lighthouse through a UHF radio link, but Mizen Head Lighthouse was itself converted to automatic operation in 1993. Today it is operated through Irish Lights' Remote Control and Monitoring System, the headquartered in Dún Laoghaire.

A part time Attendant lives nearby and carries out routine maintenance.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Sheep's Head Lighthouse)

Lighthouses of the Commissioners of Irish Lights

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