#OTD in 1974 – Radar Beacon was added to Hook Lighthouse, Co Wexford.

St Dubhán wanted a spot of peace and quiet, however, no sooner had he founded his secluded cell on Hook Head, Co Wexford, in the 5th century, that travellers started using his fire as a beacon, and insisting he keep it lit. And so was established Hook Lighthouse, the oldest in the world. The current structure has stood for 800 Years, although it has been modernised – electric light replaced paraffin in 1972 and a radar beacon was added on this date in 1974. While schoolchildren have been throwing paper aeroplanes off the top for decades.

St Dubhán, who came to Hook Point from Wales in 452 A.D and established a monastery is believed to have lit the first warning beacon for ships on the point shortly after his arrival. This beacon had been maintained by the monks for 700 years until the current lighthouse was built. The original east wall of the medieval church (now in the centre of the church) includes remains of antae (projections of the side walls beyond the gable) and evidence for a round-headed window in which a doorway was inserted to give access to the later chancel. The nave dates from the 13th century and the chancel was added later. Nearby is Hook Medieval Lighthouse.

Photo: St. Dubhán’s Church, Hook peninsula, Co Wexford, Ailís Ní hÉgeartaigh Photography

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