Fastnet Rock (CIL)
Photo copyright - Philip Plisson
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POSITION 51°23.3' N 9°36.1' W
Location: Irish Sea
No. On Admiralty List of Lights: ???
Present Tower Built: 1904
Tower Composition: granite
Height of Tower: 177 ft (54 m)
Designer: William Douglass
Focal Height of Light: 160 ft 9 ins (49 m ) above mean high water
First Lit: 1904
Light Characteristic: White flash every 5 seconds. Exhibited by day when the fog signal is sounding
Visible Range on clear night: nominal 27 nautical miles
Fog Signal: 4 blasts every 60 seconds.
Radar Beacon: Morse 'G' on vessel's radar display.
The beautiful tower of Fastnet lighthouse replaced a cast iron lighthouse built in 1854 that was considered unsafe. It was designed to withstand the force of the Atlantic by William Douglass, Engineer to the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
Fastnet is the tallest and widest rock lighthouse tower in Ireland and Great Britain and was a monumental achievement when completed in 1904. Each of the granite stones of the tower is dovetailed into those around it, bonding the structure into a virtual monolith. The lighthouse was constructed by the Commissioners’ own workforce.
Every one of the 2,074 stones, weighing from 1.5 to 3 tons, was set by the Commissioners’ foreman, James Kavanagh.
The original paraffin vapour burner was converted to electric in 1969, and the lighthouse was automated in 1989.