Dunbur Head, Co Wicklow
Wicklow Head Lighthouse has safeguarded the scenic Wicklow coastline since 1781. It is a peace seeker's haven with inspiring and refreshing views of the Irish Sea. The landscape and scenery surrounding the lighthouse provide a perfect backdrop for a unique and memorable break.
The Lighthouse has 6 octagonal rooms carefully constructed in the void that existed within the tower when it was first taken on by Irish Landmark. The arched windows set into walls which are a meter or more thick offer stunning views out to the Irish Sea and the surrounding countryside: all making this property a most unique place to stay.
Special note: There are 109 steps to the kitchen, which is on the top floor. This property is surrounded by sea on three sides.
Slide the bar to compare before and after photos
The restoration of Wicklow Head Lighthouse was one of the last projects of the architect, Maura Shaffrey. The philosophy behind the brief and that of The Irish Landmark Trust, echoed one which Maura had promoted and practised throughout her career, and long before it had become popular or accepted in this country. This philosophy acknowledged 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 sought to retain these qualities and weave new uses into existing buildings without diluting their essence. It was not a rigid doctrine which aimed to preserve all in aspic, nor was it one which bowed to the kitsch or the pastiche. It embraced the demands to incorporate modern facilities sympathetically and took them on board as a challenge in proving the economic viability and future sustainability of retaining and reviving existing buildings.
However, Maura's approach was equally strict on issues such as materials and finishes, insisting that only compatible materials should be used. Behind this 'rule' was a depth of knowledge and passion. Maura's last article, before her untimely death, examined the future of the vernacular house and set out a practical and benign approach to 'upgrading', incorporating extensions, etc., as necessary.
The Irish Landmark Trust acquired Wicklow Lighthouse in 1996, and set about conserving the tower. This involved re-plastering the internal and external walls, making and fitting 27 windows, wiring, plumbing, flooring and installing a water pumping system. When the stairs and timber floors were in situ, a series of 6 octagonal rooms were arranged vertically. Although the rooms are small, they have high arched windows set into walls which are almost a metre thick.
All the windows were newly made in accordance with traditional joinery practices. Double-glazing was used to counteract the high winds and exposed location of the lighthouse. Blinds for the windows had to be fitted, as it was required that they should be closed at night lest the lights from the lighthouse confuse ships around the headland. The arched head on the windows meant that special blinds were needed. These were handmade from various coloured sail fabric and attached to the windows with brass fittings. Because the blinds are flush to the windows, it means that the window alcove becomes a useable space, even at night when the blinds are closed.
All the walls were painted white, and this gives the building an almost contemporary feel. It was decided to furnish the lighthouse in a minimalist fashion. This was further consolidated by the fact that all of the furniture had to be either built in-situ, or else dismantled to bring it up the winding 109 steps to the top.
Because no one had ever lived in the lighthouse, there was no evidence as to how it might have been furnished. Therefore, the furniture selected is, in general, quite simple with a nautical theme. The mosaic tiles on the bathroom floor were influenced by similar samples found in other lighthouses.
Just 1 hour from Dublin City. Wicklow Town (5 kms) Shop (5 kms) Restaurant (5 kms) Beach (5 kms)
Nearby: Wicklow Town (5 kms) Shop (5 kms) Restaurant (5 kms) Beach (5 kms) Please Note: This property is surrounded by sea on three sides. Also, the kitchen is at the top of the property, and there is 109 steps to it.
GPS: 52.965143 , -6.002410
Can I bring a dog?
Yes. Check the Irish Landmark T&Cs re bringing dogs to Irish Landmark properties. This property is only suitable for one dog.
Is linen supplied?
Yes – all beds are prepared and ready for your arrival.
Is there an open fire?
Can I light a fire?
There is no open fire at Wicklow Lighthouse
Do I need a car to get here?
It would be preferable to have a car as otherwise it will be difficult to get to shops , etc.
How do I get the keys?
When you complete your booking, you will receive an email giving you information about arranging access on your arrival date.
Can I arrive early?
Only by special arrangement with the bookings office and agreement of the local House Manager. A charge is made if you are requesting a morning arrival, as this means we cannot take a booking for the night before your arrival date.
What is the latest departure time?
10.00am. The House Manager will discuss arrangements for your departure on the day you arrive.
How far to the nearest town?
About 10 mins drive back to Wicklow town.
Is there a caterer who will come in to cook meals?
We do not know of anyone who can go in to cook meals at this property.
Is it suitable for children?
This property is not best suited to young children. Each room is stacked one on top of the other, and there are 109 steps to the kitchen and also a large number of steps to the living room area.
Is it suitable for older people?
This property does not suit anyone with mobility issues. There are 109 steps to the kitchen and there are always steps to get from one room to another.
Does it have facilities for disabled people?
Is it suitable for a wheelchair?
Is there central heating?
There is electric central heating at Wicklow. There are storage heaters throughout the building.
Is the cooker electric or gas?
Is there a shower?
Yes - there is a shower over bath in the single bathroom
How many bathrooms?
How many day guests can I invite to the house?
Do you supply towels and bed linen?
Yes. The beds will be made up on your arrival and you will be provided with a bath towel and guest towel according to the number of beds in the property.
Can I get to the house by public transport?
Yes. You would get a train or bus to Wicklow town and a taxi could take you onwards from there to the Lighthouse. However, you would need a car to get to local shops, etc.
Where is the nearest train station?
Can I book for just one night?
What is your minimum booking period?
Our minimum booking period from 1st January 2016 our minimum booking period will be 3 nights. Some Special Dates will have restrictions on number of nights and arrival date.
Is there a garden at the house?
How many cars can I bring to the house?
Is there parking on site?
Is there outdoor furniture?
Is there a TV?
The Lighthouse Restaurant
Phone: +353 404 62548
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August 25, 2017
Hurry or you’ll miss it !! The Irish Architectural Archive is hosting a Maura Shaffrey exhibition and it closes tomorrow, Saturday 26th August. Maura and Patrick married in 1961 and became an unstoppable machine in their quest to transfer their passion for historic buildings and Irish towns into their wonderful publications Buildings of […]
August 25, 2017
As Irish Landmark Trust celebrates its 25th anniversary, we remember Maura Shaffrey, the architect on the first ever Irish Landmark Trust restoration project, namely Wicklow Lighthouse. George Bernard Shaw once described how he could “think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse. They were only built to serve”. If you […]