House 2 sleeps 7 - Whitehead, Co Antrim
Blackhead Lightkeepers' Houses are ideally situated on the North
Shore of Belfast Lough. The panoramic views from this property are
stunning and fill visitors with pure delight and admiration. This
magnificent house, in its breathtaking location, is a proud example
of Ireland's maritime heritage.
Guests can enjoy spectacular views over Belfast Lough from the
Lightkeepers' Houses. A popular coastal path leads along in
front of the lightouse to the Victorian town of Whitehead.
Lying 20 miles north of Belfast, Whitehead is only a 40 minute
train journey away from city centre shopping and many historical
Please Note: the triple rooms contain 1 double bed and 1 single
bed. Also, this property is cliff-facing, so children must be
supervised. Nearby: Whitehead Town (4 kms) Restaurant (4 kms)
Shop (4kms) Golf Club (3 kms) Beach (4 kms) Browns Bay (10 kms)
The lighthouse was built on the north shore of the entrance to
Belfast Lough in 1901, opposite its twin across the Lough at Mew
Island. These two were important in protecting commercial shipping
when steam replaced sail in the mid 19th Century, and would have
guided all of the great ships of Belfast's shipbuilding glory days,
including the ill fated Titanic.
The houses contain interesting fragments of lighthouse
paraphernalia, including the whistle pipe system used to wake up
the next watch, and a tunnel that was used to travel between the
lighthouse and quarters during stormy weather.
Built in the glory days of Belfast's shipping, Blackhead
Lighthouse remains as impressive and powerful a navigation aid as
The Story of the Blackhead Light
On the 10 November 1893 the Belfast Harbour Commissioners
approached the Northern Lighthouse Board with respect to erecting a
lighthouse and fog signal on Blackhead. The Board in their
reply a month later stated that they could not recommend the cost
of a new light and fog signal coming out of lighthouse funds when
the light would only benefit Belfast.
Five years later, in February and March 1898, the Belfast Chamber
of Commerce, Lloyds and the Belfast Harbour Commissioners all made
representations for a light on Blackhead, but the Board referred
them to their reply of 18 December 1893.
On 22 April 1898, Sir W. Watson presented a letter to the Board
from Sir Courtenay Boyle of the Board of Trade, about a light and
fog signal on Blackhead. The Secretary informed Sir William
that he was in communication with the Belfast Harbour Board and
that the Inspecting Committee was to report. Trinity House
were approached and by June they were in favour of the proposal and
required particulars. Towards the end of 1898 the Engineer
submitted an estimate of £10,025 which was sanctioned by both
Trinity House and Board of Trade early in 1899 - the light to be
first order, giving two one-and-a-half second flashes every 30
seconds, the flashes separated by one-and-a-half seconds, and the
fog signal to give one report every 5 minutes.
In July 1899 William Campbell and Sons received the contract to
construct the buildings and tower.
On 30 March 1900 Trinity House drew attention to the fact
that the character of Blackhead was similar to that of Blackhead in
Wigtownshire, Scotland, the latter which was also nearing
completion. The Board was requested to alter the character of
the light and the following June the Inspecting Committee
recommended a half a minute flash every three seconds. This
was sanctioned by Trinity House and they reported that the Northern
Lighthouse Board had changed the name of their Blackhead station to
Killantringan. The new light was exhibited and fog signal
established on 1 April 1902.
During 1918 the fog signal character was altered to one explosion
every two minutes, but after January 1919 it reverted to its
previous character - one explosin every five minutes.
Please Note: This property is cliff facing. Children must be
supervised. There is on-site parking.
From 1st January 2010, a contribution towards light and heat will
be applied to all bookings. As a not for profit
organisation, this fee makes a significant contribution to rising
energy costs. It is our aim to reduce our energy
consumption at all self catering holiday homes and encourage guests
to reuse, reduce, recyle.
The Irish Landmark Trust acknowledges the intrinsic value of our
architectural heritage, including its historic and social aspects,
but, above all, the particular quality of fabric, form and scale
which imbues its aesthetic worth. It seeks to retain
these qualities and weave new uses into existing buildings without
diluting their essence. It is not a rigid doctrine which aims
to preserve all in aspic, nor one which bows to the kitsch or the
pastiche. It embraces the demands to incorporate modern
facilities sympathetically and takes them on board as challenges in
proving the economic viability and future sustainability of
retaining and reviving existing buildings.
The approach is equally strict on issues such as materials and
finishes, with the insistence that only compatible materials should
A philosophy of repair rather than replacement of damaged elements
was followed. Tiny paint remnants were matched when
decorating and salvaged items were reused wherever possible.
The Carnegie Library Bookcase
In the early years of the 20th century, before the coming of radio
and television, the ligthhouse and lightship keepers lived
relatively lonely lives, and in many cases served six-week periods
of duty at a time. Consequently, the Carnegie Libraries in
coastal towns granted a special concession to the lightkeepers by
providing each station with a well made oak bookcase, which was
replenished with a change of books on a regular basis.
The public library services of the various county councils
eventually took over the function of the Carnegie Libraries, but
the regular supply of books to the lightkeepers continued well into
the second half of the 20th century.
Now that all the ligthhouses are automated and no longer manned,
the fine oak bookcases that remain in some of the keepers'
dwellings continue to bear silent witness to the great generosity
of Andrew Carnegie, philanthropist extraordinaire.
25 Eustace StreetTemple BarDublin 2Ireland
Registered Number: 195260Charity Number: CHY10937
Tel: +353 1 670 4733Fax: +353 1 670 4887
50 Bedford StreetBelfastBT2 7FWNorthern Ireland
Registered Number: NI 031218Charity Number: X02040
THE IRISH LANDMARK TRUST IS A COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE AND A CHARITY