Old Head of Kinsale

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Old Head of Kinsale
Kinsale (4693047407).jpg
Lighthouse on the Old Head near Kinsale, County Cork
Old Head of Kinsale is located in Ireland
Old Head of Kinsale
Old Head of Kinsale
LocationCounty Cork, Ireland
Coordinates51°36.287′N 8°32.018′W / 51.604783°N 8.533633°W / 51.604783; -8.533633Coordinates: 51°36.287′N 8°32.018′W / 51.604783°N 8.533633°W / 51.604783; -8.533633[1]
Year first constructed1853
Constructionmasonry tower
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite and black horizontal bands
Tower height30 metres (98 ft)
Focal height72 metres (236 ft)
Range20 nautical miles[2]
CharacteristicFl (2) W 10 s.[2]
Fog signal3 blasts every 45 s
(discontinued in 2011)[3]
Admiralty numberA5710[2]
NGA number6340
ARLHS numberIRE-055
Ireland numberCIL-0200[1][4]

The Old Head of Kinsale (in Irish, An Seancheann) is a headland near Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. An early lighthouse was established here in the 17th century by Robert Reading. The area is the nearest point of land (11 miles/18 km) to where the RMS Lusitania was sunk in 1915.[5]

Geographical Information[edit]

The old head of Kinsale was formed by differential erosion. An outcrop of hard sandstone is lodged between two layers of shale. The shale is eroded by marine action at a faster rate than the sandstone. The sandstone anticlines were much more resistant to erosion than the slate filled synclines. Thus over time the headland was formed.[citation needed]

The lighthouse and a portion of the Old Head Golf Links

Today, the Old Head of Kinsale is popular with golfers who come to play on its 18-hole golf course that opened in 1997.[6]


Since the golf course opened, access to the Old Head of Kinsale has been restricted to golfers and guests only, and there has been a long-running campaign for the restoration of public access organised by the Free the Old Head of Kinsale Campaign. This campaign has mainly taken the format of "People's Picnics", some of them involving "incursions" onto the headland and holding the picnics at the Old Head lighthouse.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse Commissioners of Irish Lighthouses
  2. ^ a b c "Old Head of Kinsale - Reduction in Light Range". irishlights.ie. 26 August 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Discontinuation of fog signals". irishlights.ie. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  4. ^ Lighthouses Directory
  5. ^ "The Lusitania". The American Journal of International Law. 12 (4): 862–888. October 1918. doi:10.2307/2187795. JSTOR 2187795.
  6. ^ "The Old Head Story". oldhead.com. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  7. ^ [1], People's Picnic at the Old Head of Kinsale
  8. ^ [2], People Power At Old Head of Kinsale

External links[edit]