“The world's oldest operational lighthouse”

Hook Lighthouse is located at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, Ireland. The present structure dates back 800 years to th emedieval tower of Hook.  Hook lighthouse, constructed with local limestone, is one of th emost fascinating examples of medieval architecture in Ireland.  The tower stands four stories high, with walls of up to four metres thick.  The Lighthouse offers guided tours of the tower all year round with a range of festivals and family events.


The Vikings called it Vadra Fiord (the weather estuary) which was the origin of the name Waterford. In the fifth century a monk named Dubhán established a monastery on the peninsula. The medieval church at Churchtown, built on the site of Dubhán’s monastery, incorporated part of an early Christian monastery. The headland became known as Rinn Dubháin (Dubhán’s headland). Although Dubhán is also the Irish word for fishing hook, it is likely that the headland got its present name from the old English word Hook, meaning a projecting piece of land. According to tradition, the monks from Dubhán’s monastery erected the first fire beacon to warn seafarers to keep away from the dangerous rocks.

The monks left the tower and were replaced by the first lighthouse keepers in the mid 17th century. In 1671, a new, but still coal burning lantern was installed on top of the tower to replace the old beacon light. The coal fire was finally abandoned in 1791 when a whale oil lantern 12 ft. in diameter with 12 lamps was installed. This continued until new gas lights were installed in 1871, lit by gas manufactured in the enclosure known as 'the gas yard'. In the 1860s, three dwellings were built for the lighthouse keepers. Paraffin oil became the source of power in 1911, and a clockwork mechanism changed the light from fixed to flashing. This mechanism had to be wound up every 25 minutes by the keeper on duty. Finally, in 1972 electricity became the power source, and light-sensitive switches were installed to control the lantern. In March 1996, The Hook Lighthouse was converted to automatic operation, and the last light-keepers who had climbed the stairs and tended the light were permanently withdrawn from the station. The lighthouse is now remotely controlled from Dún Laoghaire by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

In 2001 the light was opened to the public as a tourist attraction after the old keepers houses were turned into a visitor centre. In January 2011 The Hook's fog horn was heard for the last time as all the fog horns were turned off. It was felt that the technology on modern ships was so advanced that the fog horn was no longer required. In June 2011 the structure was placed first in a Lonely Planet piece listing the "Top 10 Flashiest Lighthouses"; the author described Hook as "The great granddaddy of lighthouses".

For individual visitor, time of visiting inside the lighthouse, before 17:00 hrs. You have to buy a ticket. Tour guide will lead you to the underground and climbing on the viewpoint of the lighthouse, spending for 1 hour approximately.

How to get there:

  • 40 minutes from New Ross town
  • 50 minutes drive from Wexford town
  • 1 hour from Waterford City
  • 1 hour from Rosslare Port
  • 1 hour and fifteen minutes from Kilkenny Castle

Hook Lighthouse


Hook Head, Churchtown, Harrylock, Wexford, Ireland Map

List 0 review | sea,family,art & culture,romantic,attractions,the beach,archaeological site,museum

Closed today

Mon9.30 - 18.00
Tue9.30 - 18.00
Wed9.30 - 18.00
Thu9.30 - 18.00
Fri9.30 - 18.00
Sat9.30 - 18.00
Sun9.30 - 18.00

+353 51 397 055



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