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.