World’s oldest working intact lighthouse

Hook Head

Hook Head lighthouse the oldest working lighthouse in the world


The rocky Hook peninsula protrudes into a busy shipping lane, on Ireland’s most treacherous coastline, and there has been a light on the point since the 5th century. The 13th-century tower, built by Anglo-Normans, is still in use.

It was whitewashed with lime, to act as a landmark by day, and at night a fire was lit on top. For 1,400 years coal fuelled the light. In 1871, Hook Head switched to coal-gas, in 1911 to paraffin vapour, and in 1972 to electricity. The light was automated in 1996, and the historic tower is now open to the public.

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Hook Head Lighthouse