Loop Head Lighthouse
Perched proudly on an enclosure at the tip of Loop Head stands the lighthouse station. Surrounded by birds and wild flowers, cliffs and Atlantic surf, Loop Head offers holiday accommodation with all of the spectacular appeal of the rugged west coast.
The surrounding coastline is of a dramatic character with cliffs sculpted by Atlantic storms where rock ledges and caves are home to seabirds, seals and other maritime animals. Loop Head Lighthouse station is a major landmark on the northern shore of the Shannon River. The Lighthouse station is built on a clifftop with 300 degree views of the sea down to Kerry Head and Dingle and across to the Cliffs of Moher.
Loop Head Lighthouse station is the major landmark on the northern shore of the Shannon River. The surrounding coastline is of a dramatic character with cliffs sculpted by Atlantic storms where rock ledges and caves are home to seabirds, seals and other maritime animals. The lighthouse complex is built on a clifftop with 300o views of the sea, down to Kerry Head and Dingle, across the Shannon, and up the Clare coast to the Cliffs of Moher to the north.
There has been a lighthouse at this important navigational location since approximately 1670. The first beacon comprised of a cottage in which the Keeper and his family lived, with a large brazier on the roof, similar in style to the original Howth Head and Old Head of Kinsale lights. Traces of this building still exist in the present day complex. Predictably the light was not reliable and in this remote location, difficult to manage, and it fell into disrepair.
A new light was re-established in 1770 and then the present tower was designed by George Halpin in 1854. The distinctive character of the light – 20 seconds of light followed by 4 of dark – was achieved by rotating a screen around the lamp. This operation was originally manually “wound up” and not replaced by electric until 1971. The station was fully automated in the early 1990s.