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Blackhead Antrim
Photo copyright - Philip Plisson.

Please note that any items in
RED means there is a fuller version relating to this particular name or subject, which can be found in the Main Search index.

A very special acknowledgment is given to the Commissioners of Irish Lights for the in depth data utilized for this web site.

POSITION 5446.0' North 541.3' West 
Location:   Northern extremity of Belfast Lough
Present Tower Built:  1902
Tower Composition:  Granite
Height of Upper Tower: 52 feet (16m)
William Douglass
Focal Height of Light:  147 feet (45m) above mean high water
First Lit:  6th August 1902
Present Light Characteristic: Fl W 3 secs
Fog Signal: Discontinued
Visible Range on clear night: nominal 27 nautical miles
Automated: 31st July 1975

Blackhead Antrim Lighthouse marks the northern extremity of Belfast Lough. This octagonal tower was designed by William Douglass, Engineer to the Commissioners of Irish Lights. It was completed in 1902 and was painted red. On the 20th August 1929 the colour of the tower was changed to white.

From September 1965 until February 1972 when the fog signal was discontinued, it was accompanied by a brilliant of light when sounding during the hours of darkness.

On 23rd September 1965 Blackhead Antrim Lighthouse was converted to electric and the intensity of the light was increased giving a range of 27 nautical miles. At the same time the duration of the flash was decreased to 0.15 seconds, the character being Fl W 3 secs (fl 0.15, ec 2.85). The lantern equipment is a 920mm catadioptric annular lens with a PRB22 gearless drive and MBI 400W lamps in a UVLA lampchanger.

On the 31st July 1975 the Lightkeepers were withdrawn from the Station and since then it has been in the care of a part-time Attendant who lives at the Station.

On the 1st April 1992 the Radiobeacon Calibration service at Mew Island was discontinued and moved to Blackhead Antrim. In more recent times utilisation of radio direction finders by Mariners has been to a great extent superceded by more modern technology. For this reason the Commissioners discontinued their Medium Frequency Radiobeacon service on 1st February 1999.