The Baily Lighthouse
East Ireland | County Dublin
The Baily Lighthouse is located on the southeastern part of Howth Head in Dublin Bay, County Dublin. The first lighthouse on this site dates from 1667. It was a cottage and square tower with a coal-fired beacon. The lighthouse we see today was built in 1814 and was equipped with fixed white catoptric light comprising 24 Argand oil lamps and reflectors. The granite tower is 13 m high and rises 41 m (134 feet) above sea level. In 1853 the fog bell was installed in April, and in 1865 the light source was changed to first order dioptric. At the same time Baily Lighthouse was converted to newly patented gas-burning light. An air horn was installed in 1871 (with coal fired hot air engine), which was replaced with a siren in 1879 and then in 1926 the siren was replaced by a diaphone. In 1892 two additional homes for Assistant Keepers were built and the new light, with a character of one flash every thirty seconds, came into operation on 1st January 1902. The light source was converted from gas to incandescent vaporized paraffin in 1908. A larger two story house was built for the Principal Keeper in 1953, and additional dwellings were built in 1973 as Baily Lighthouse became a training center for Supernumerary Assistant Lighthouse Keepers. In 1972 the light was converted to electric and was equipped with a 1,500 watt bulb in a rotating lens, producing a flash every 20 seconds that can be seen at a range of 26 nautical miles (48 km). The previous optic (from 1902), pedestal, and rotation machine are now on display in the The National Maritime Museum of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire. The lighthouse was converted to automatic operation in 1996-7 but an attendant still lives in the Principal Keeper's residence. The light is currently a 375mm catadioptric annular lens with electric L24 lamps in a UVLA lampchanger. Unfortunately the lighthouse is not open to the public.