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Cape Clear Island

from Walking in Ireland


Next to the lighthouse is an early 19th Century signaling tower, one of many such small forts and watchtowers that the British built during the Napoleonic Wars.

After I mistakenly referred to the tower as a Martello Tower, Dorothee Uí Cheallaigh of Cape Clear Island Language Services corrected me with information based on Paul M. Kerrigan's "Signal Towers on the West Cork Coast" article in Volume 11 of Mizen Journal, a local history magazine:

"This tower is actually no Martello Tower. Martello Towers are round and were also called 'Corsican Towers'. The tower on this picture is one of many towers constructed as a response to renewal of war between France and England (when the Peace of Ambiens ended in May 1803) on the SW and S coast of County Cork. The aim was to construct a chain of towers which could convey a signal from Castletown Berehaven to Cork.  There are  17 towers like this on the coast between Cork and C-Berehaven, and they were built between 1803 and 1807. Martello Towers were considered but these ones were cheaper and quicker to build."

The lighthouse and tower are locally referred to as "The Old Lighthouse and Signal Tower" or An Sean Teach Solas and Túr Comhartaíochta.

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Walking in Ireland - General Information:
Types of walking trips
Resources and Web links

Walks in Northern Ireland:
Giant's Causeway
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Rathlin Island
Guide: Chris Murphy

Walks in Southwest Ireland:
Roaringwater Bay
Sherkin Island
Heir Island
Cape Clear Island
Sheep's Head Way
Glengarriff Nature Reserve
Guides: SouthWestWalks Ireland

Related articles:
Molly Gallivan's Cottage and Traditional Farm
Bunratty Manor Hotel (Shannon Airport)