Categories of Special Interest
Architectural Social Technical
1925 - 1930
Freestanding two-stage lighthouse, built 1929, comprising rectangular plan single-bay single-storey ground floor block surmounted by circular single-stage lantern with projecting electronics block to rear (east) of lantern. Conical riveted steel plate roof to lantern with cast-iron rainwater goods. Flat bitumen roof to ground floor surmounted with metal railings. Riveted steel plate walls to lantern and electronics box. Rendered walls to ground floor block. Fixed three-pane bowed window to lantern (west) having steel glazing bars. Square-headed window openings to ground floor (east, west) having timber battened shutters. Square-headed door opening to electronics box having riveted steel plate door. Square-headed door opening to ground floor having timber battened door. Rendered drainage channels surround the structure.
This lighthouse is a directional light marking the way to safe anchorage close to Kinsale. In 1665 King Charles II granted letters patent to Sir Robert Reading to erect six lighthouses on the coast of Ireland, including one at Barry Oge's castle, near Kinsale later to become Charles Fort. The original structure would have had a coal fire on its roof. In 1810 powers given to the Commissioners for Barracks and others between 1767 and 1806 were all vested in the Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin or the Ballast Board. This board took over the general lighting and marking of the coast when fourteen lighthouses were transferred to it including that at Charles Fort. This lighthouse, built in 1929, is one of the more recent to be found along the coast, with most dating to the nineteenth century. A new mains powered light at Charles Fort Lighthouse was put into operation on the 14 April 2004 marking the end of a long era of gas and oil powered lights in Ireland.