Lighthouse tops guide book list as world’s flashiest

HOOK Lighthouse on the south-east coast has been announced as number one in the list of the “world’s flashiest lighthouses”.

The signal station on Hook Peninsula beat rivals in Australia, the US and India in a list compiled by Lonely Planet Guide 2011, the backpackers’ bible.

Manager of the visitor centre at the lighthouse, Ann Waters yesterday said: “We always knew we were number one and, now, so do the rest of the world.

“We have worked hard to make it one of the top attractions in Wexford and are now delighted to find that it has been voted number one in the well read, well loved and much used Lonely Planet guide.”

Hook lighthouse, one of the oldest stations in the world, is considered a prime location to see the Tall Ships depart the Waterford Estuary and into the Irish Sea in two weeks’ time.

The guide says of Hook: “The great granddaddy of lighthouses, Hook Head is arguably the oldest working light in the world.

“The site had humble beginnings, reportedly as far back as the 5th century, with monks lighting a beacon there. The structure, as it stands today, has existed for 800 years.

“It’s an automated light, squat and a little… plump (they say horizontal stripes emphasise a thick waist, so it might just be an illusion).

“Access to the light is by tour, organised through the visitor centre. A historical teaser – have you ever wondered where the phrase ‘by Hook or by Crook’ comes from?”

Purpose-built, Hook Head lighthouse has served sailors and shipping for 800 years, apart from a short closure during the 17th century.

When the Tower of Hook became fully automated in 1996 — and no longer needed resident keepers — it was opened to the public.

The infamous horn sound, around the south east coast in Waterford and Wexford, can no longer be heard as modern technology has led to the demise of the foghorn in lighthouses generally. More details can be found on the website.

* www.hookheritage.ie



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