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Metal Man Tower, County Waterford
22902605
Representative view of beacons.
Reg. No.22902605
Date1815 - 1825
Previous NameN/A
TownlandWESTTOWN
CountyCounty Waterford
Coordinates256758, 98687
Categories of Special InterestARTISTIC ARCHITECTURAL HISTORICAL SOCIAL
RatingNational
Original Usebeacon
In Use Asbeacon
 
Description
Group of three freestanding beacons, begun 1819; completed 1824, on circular plans. Limestone ashlar battered walls retaining traces of limewash finish with tooled cut-limestone beaded or "Ovolo" stringcourses below capping including tooled cut-limestone beaded or "Ovolo" stringcourse below cast-iron statue-topped capping. Set on headland.

Appraisal

A group of beacons erected to designs attributed to George Halpin (c.1779-1854), Inspector of Works and Lighthouses for the Ballast Board (appointed 1810), representing an important component of the early nineteenth-century built heritage of County Waterford (cf. 22902609). A "Jack Tar" exhibited (1817) by Thomas Kirk (1781-1845) of Cork highlights the artistic potential of the central beacon although it was once casually dismissed as 'a colossal figure of a man [of] little practical use at sea' (The Nautical Magazine 1850, 251). NOTE: The beacons were commissioned 'at the earnest solicitation of the harbour commissioners' following the "Sea Horse" disaster (1816) to distinguish Tramore Bay from the entrance into Waterford Harbour 'and consequently to avoid the dangerous bay [where] sunken rocks nearly covered by the sea at high water render the approach particularly dangerous' (Ryland 1824, 245-6).
 
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