Monday, February 20, 2017

Skellig Michael Lighthouse, the Skelligs, County Kerry

Skelligs Lighthouse is one of the main sea lights off the South West coast and is located on the outer and larger of the Skellig rocks; eight miles (12.8km) from the nearest mainland point, North East of Puffin Island.
Legendary references to Skellig rocks go back to pre-Christian times; but the collection of beehive dwellings, oratories and crosses are attributed to Saint Finian around the sixth century. Located close to the beehives is a medieval chapel and two wells dedicated to Saint Michael, patron saint of high places. The monastery, as it is usually referred to, is positioned on the south side of the 611 foot North-East peak at a height of around 550 feet ) above sea level.
When Inishtearaght, the most westerly island of the Blaskets, 22 miles (35.4km) north of Skellig rocks, was established on 1st May 1870, the upper light of Skellig was discontinued. During the 1939-45 war, an aircraft crashed, exploded and fell in flames into the sea off the north side of the rock on 27th February 1944. A search by Keepers and a British aircraft found neither survivors nor wreckage. Fortnightly reliefs by helicopter took over from the Service Steamer out of Castletownbere in November 1969 and a reinforced concrete landing pad was built on the rock near the diesel derrick at Cross Cove.
22nd April 1987 was a sad day for Skellig Michael. After just over 160 years of continuous manning, the station was made unwatched electric. 

This is one of just over sixty coastal lighthouses and many more harbour and estuary lights I've illustrated. I'll be posting them up each day.
The A2 poster of 16 of the most iconic lighthouses is up and ready to ship. If you're interested in a particular lighthouse they're available in A4 or A3 size.

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