Places to See | Co. Wexford, Ireland
The oldest intact operational lighthouse in the world apparently.
Lighthouses have a magic and mysticism of their own, none more so than the 13th Century Hook Lighthouse in County Wexford. Hook Lighthouse can be found at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford in Ireland. The current structure has stood for almost 800 years!
The headland is known in Irish as Rinn Dubháin, St. Dubhán’s Head. However, the similar-sounding Irish word ‘duán’ means a fish hook, hence the English name. It is known locally as “the tower of Hook.”
Hook Lighthouse offers guided tours of the lighthouse tower all year round and is one of the top places to see in Wexford.
The first custodians to the light were a small group of monks whose small monastery was situated on the peninsula. The monks who lived at this monastery would have lit warning fires and beacons all through the years to warn sailors of the dangerous rocks on the peninsula. The monks left the tower and were replaced by the first lighthouse keepers in the mid 1600’s. In March 1996, The Hook Lighthouse was converted to automatic operation and the last light-keepers who had climbed the stairs and tended the light were permanently withdrawn from the station. The lighthouse is now remotely controlled from Dun Laoghaire by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
In 2001 the light was opened to the public as a tourist attraction after the old keepers houses were turned into a visitor centre. In June 2011 the structure was placed first by Lonely Planet in its list of “Top 10 Flashiest Lighthouses”; the guide described Hook as “The great granddaddy of lighthouses”.
Whales and dolphins can be observed from the shoreline around Hook Head with a good pair of binoculars. Humpback whales and Fin whales usually visit The Hook area in the winter months to feed on the huge shoals of herring.
Guided Tours of the Lighthouse available all year but may be restricted during dangerous weather conditions.
June/July/August 9.30am to 6pm
May/September 9.30am to 5.30pm
Rest of year 9.30am to 5pm
Access to the Lighthouse is by guided tour only.
June/July/August – Every half hour from 10am to 5.30pm
Rest of Year – Every hour on the hour from 11am to 5pm
Address: Hook Lighthouse, Hook Head, Churchtown, Fethard-On-Sea, New Ross, County Wexford Ireland