Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Hook head Lighthouse

Hook head lighthouse dusk
Hook head – Lighthouse, Nikon D7000

Back in 2011 I started a project of capturing photos and information about the history and lives of the Lighthouse keepers of Ireland.

I just want to share a small amount in this post.

Hook head light house

Hook head old lamp

This area is renowned as the location of Hook Lighthouse. Hook Head is the oldest lighthouse in Ireland, and one of the oldest in Europe still operating. In the 5th century St Dubhán set up a fire beacon on the headland as a warning to mariners. After his death his monks kept the beacon going for another 600 years. Between 1170 and 1184 the Normans built the present lighthouse. It was built from local limestone and burned lime mixed with ox’s blood. Even today traces of the blood-lime mix can be seen coming through the paintwork. The walls are 9 to 13 feet thick and 80 feet above the ground.[1] In 1665 King Charles II granted letters patent to Sir Robert Reading to erect six lighthouses on the coast of Ireland, one of which was at Hook Head on the site of the older lighthouse, the others being at Howth, one to mark the land, the other to lead over the bar; the Old Head of Kinsale, Barry Oge’s castle (now Charlesfort, near Kinsale), and the Isle of Magee.

Hook head

Hookhead web cams

North view :,
West view :


I have posted this video before but its well worth doing so again, its a wonderful short film …..

The Lighthouse Keeper’s videos:

10 responses

  1. victoriaaphotography

    Hard to imagine a wall 13 feet thick, but it sure looks sturdy. Nice shot of the lighthouse. I enjoyed the video just as much second time around. Thanks for sharing.

    April 15, 2013 at 11:21 am

    • Hi Victoria, Thanks for your comments.

      I have some more images of the walls for inside the building, so at some point I will return to post them.

      Thank again 🙂

      April 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm

  2. Great little video and really interesting idea to document the lives of lighthouse keepers etc.

    April 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    • Hi Nicholas,

      I love this video, its just brilliantly put together and your right its very inspirational!

      April 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

  3. noelgreene

    Nigel, Great Post and the historical narrative is very special. pictures are beautiful

    April 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    • Many thanks for your comments Noel 🙂

      I just love hook head its a fantastic lighthouse and its location is just amazing!!



      April 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm

  4. Just stunning photos! Surely there must be a book in this project!! : ))

    April 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    • Hum? 🙂 now your talking!!!

      Yes this blogging thing we all do is started to help me get some ideas going again, with comments like that 🙂 (Thank you!), Most of this work has been locked away on my hard disk and the way things have been kinda kept them there. Not for long this time I hope!!

      Thank you Anne 🙂

      April 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

  5. It’s a majestic place isn’t it. I spied on the Hook through my telephoto while in Dunmore East only to be told that I really wanted to go to the glass factory in Waterford.

    April 16, 2013 at 7:04 am

  6. Amazing photo of the lighthouse and it’s interesting the way it was built with the thick walls and ox’s blood. The sky is so blue and clear here 🙂

    April 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

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