Crookhaven Lighthouse is located on the Wild Atlantic Way at the entrance to Ireland’s most south-westerly harbour and village on the Mizen peninsula – Ireland’s most southerly point.

Crookhaven Lighthouse

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Crookhaven

Crookhaven Harbour is as picturesque today as it was useful in its heyday, being a large and sheltered harbour. You pass the old Roadstone Quarry on the side of the mountain, which provided metalling for the roads of Wales until 1939. There are numerous Bronze Age field monuments scattered trough the hills surrounding Crookhaven. (The Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map 88 will indicate the whereabouts for you.) The village of Crookhaven has a distinguished history as the last port of call for ships journeying to and from America. Over the centuries ships stocked up with provisions here before tackling the Atlantic Ocean. All the shipping lines had agents located here to tell the ships in which port their cargo had been sold. At the beginning of the 20th century it was said that you could cross the harbour on the decks of boats. 700 people lived and worked in the village against the 40 permanent inhabitants who reside here today. Marconi came here to try to send his first radio message across the Atlantic and he fitted the first telegraphic equipment to the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse to communicate with the passing ships.

www.crookhaven.ie

Goleen

Goleen village was built during the nineteenth century at a crossroads where a cattle fair was regularly held. You will notice the wide road winding through the village where all the houses were originally built as shops. Falling away left of the village is the hidden harbour from which the village takes its name. ‘Goilin’ (little inlet) is easily recognisable once you venture down the lane beside O’Meara’s pub. Although the harbour dries at low tide, giving great feeding for a variety of wildlife including fox and a pheasant, there is a deepwater quay at the entrance to accommodate fishing boats and yachts.

www.goleen.info

Goleen

Goleen village was built during the nineteenth century at a crossroads where a cattle fair was regularly held. You will notice the wide road winding through the village where all the houses were originally built as shops. Falling away left of the village is the hidden harbour from which the village takes its name. ‘Goilin’ (little inlet) is easily recognisable once you venture down the lane beside O’Meara’s pub. Although the harbour dries at low tide, giving great feeding for a variety of wildlife including fox and a pheasant, there is a deepwater quay at the entrance to accommodate fishing boats and yachts.

www.goleen.info

Three Castle Head

Dunlough Castle is a series of three fortified towers, or keeps, which stand almost invisibly upon the isthmus connecting “Three Castles Head” with the mainland. The only route of access is from the south across private farm land where there is now a café open to the public.

The towers are connected by a wall spanning more than one hundred feet from the western cliffs to the shores of an apparently man-made lake. The wall is mostly fallen today; yet in places it stands approximately 15 feet (4.6 m). At the eastern shore of the lake, a wall from the same period serves as a dam, preventing the lake’s water from pouring over the cliffs into Dunmanus Bay several hundred feet below.

At the time the first Norman soldiers and settlers arrived in Ireland in 1169, the O’Mahonys were the declining but still powerful princes of Eóganacht Raithlind, occupying approximately the area from Cork City west to Mizen Head. Their regional prominence had been diminished greatly since the MacCarthy dynasty had come south from Tipperary in the early 12th century, and faded even more rapidly as the Normans took hold of southern Ireland. Their primary Irish rivals (and allies) were the McCarthys and the O’Briens. But all these groups were militarily outclassed by the Normans who followed in the wake of King Henry II’s initial invasion.

In 1177, King Henry of England granted “the kingdom of Cork” to the Cambro-Norman knights Robert Fitz-Stephen and Milo de Cogan. De Cogan received the lands of west Cork, and began a push toward the Atlantic which drove regional families from the holdings in central Cork. The O’Mahony clan, led by their chieftain Donagh “the Migrator,” settled at the furthest point, the tip of the Mizen peninsula.

www.threecastlehead.ie

Mizen Head

The Mizen Peninsula, at Ireland’s most southwesterly point, is world renown for the beauty of its rugged landscape and ancient heritage. A tour of the Mizen Ring gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the various strands that make the Mizen unique. From geology, flora, birds and fauna to the influence of man and his history on the landscape.
Mizen Vision, the Irish Lights Signal Station Visitor Centre, had been developed as a local tourism co-operative. The Signal Station was built in 1905 to protect shipping from the cliffs during fogbound journeys. It is a spectacular location with its folded rocks and high cliffs. The Signal Station is on an Island joined to the mainland with a fine example of an arched bridge. If you have plenty of puff you can return up the 99 steps but there is an easier path for the less energetic. Well worth a visit! Another gem of the Mizen Peninsula is Three Castle Head, where the three castles, which are three Tower Houses with curtain walling. Built in the 15th century on the site of a Bronze Age Promontory Fort, the Castles stand sentinel beside a cliff top lake. Stay a safe distance as the castle stonework is unstable.

www.mizenhead.ie

Mizen Head

The Mizen Peninsula, at Ireland’s most southwesterly point, is world renown for the beauty of its rugged landscape and ancient heritage. A tour of the Mizen Ring gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the various strands that make the Mizen unique. From geology, flora, birds and fauna to the influence of man and his history on the landscape.
Mizen Vision, the Irish Lights Signal Station Visitor Centre, had been developed as a local tourism co-operative. The Signal Station was built in 1905 to protect shipping from the cliffs during fogbound journeys. It is a spectacular location with its folded rocks and high cliffs. The Signal Station is on an Island joined to the mainland with a fine example of an arched bridge. If you have plenty of puff you can return up the 99 steps but there is an easier path for the less energetic. Well worth a visit! Another gem of the Mizen Peninsula is Three Castle Head, where the three castles, which are three Tower Houses with curtain walling. Built in the 15th century on the site of a Bronze Age Promontory Fort, the Castles stand sentinel beside a cliff top lake. Stay a safe distance as the castle stonework is unstable.

www.mizenhead.ie

Barleycove Beach

Barleycove is a large sand beach backed by sand dunes. Reputedly the sand dunes were thrown up in the tidal wave which swept Europe after the earthquake in Lisbon in 1755. Today the dunes have been partially eroded but are protected like much of the coastal area round this area as European designated Special Areas of Conservation. The road goes to the east of the beach across a causeway bisecting Lissagriffin Lakes and at the t -junction you turn left to Mizen Head.

Lighthouse Accommodation

"Dreaming of ocean views? Your wish is easily fulfilled on this island nation, where cows and sheep outnumber people along the stunning, undeveloped coastline. Topping the list: the luxurious lighthouse in the southern village of Crookhaven — complete with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing the Atlantic’s hypnotic blue waves.” U.S Airways Magazine, January 2012

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