This Hook Lighthouse Panel is a commission from a client in the United Kingdom. We live in a small fishing village called Slade, on the Hook Peninsula Co Wexford Ireland. As a result of this, we often receive commissions for the Hook Lighthouse. It is the oldest working lighthouse in the world and well worth a visit if you are in the sunny south-east of Ireland.
Built in the early 13th century by William Marshall, a Knights Templar to protect ships and their cargoes. A group of monks who lived on the peninsula helped with the construction before becoming the first keepers of the light. The building itself is a fine example of Irish medieval architecture. Standing four stories high with walls four meters thick, constructed from local limestone. Three rib vaulted chambers make up the lower section, the upper section housing the beacon. Wood, coal, whale oil and paraffin oil were all used as fuel for the light. Electricity finally became the power source in 1972 with light-sensitive switches. In 1996 the lighthouse went automatic and the last lightkeepers departed for good.
Five years later in 2001, the lighthouse opened to the public as a tourist attraction. The old keeper’s houses forming a cafe, gift shop and visitor centre. 2011 signalled the end of the sounding of the fog horn, a very sad day as I remember. Today the Hook Lighthouse is a major visitor attraction. You can take a guided tour and tread the 115 steps to the tower balcony which takes about 30 minutes. From here you can see the Wexford and Waterford coastlines stretching out for miles. It’s a tour I have done a few times and well worth the time. Allow a couple of hours at least to explore the whole site, it will be time well spent!