About the property
Blackhead Lightkeepers’ Houses
Blackhead Lightkeepers’ Houses are ideally situated on the North Shore of Belfast Lough. This is one of three houses on the Lightkeepers’ station at Blackhead. The panoramic views from this property are stunning and fill visitors with pure delight and admiration. The House is a proud example of Ireland’s rich maritime heritage. Guests can enjoy spectacular views over Belfast Lough.
If you are lucky enough to stay during a storm you will have an opportunity to experience the elements at their wildest. The house oozes character and charm and makes for an ideal location for a really special break.
We think you’ll love
- Storm watching from the cosy comfort of the House
- Curling up with a nice book and a warm fire
- Letting your imagination run wild and living like a Lightkeeper for a short stay.
- Curling up at the fire as the wind howls outside!
- Walking the gobbins cliff path.
- Swimming in nearby Portmuck.
- Taking a day trip into Belfast City.
- 1 Double Bedroom
- 1 Bedroom with a Double and Single Bed
- 2 Single Rooms
- Oil Fired Central Heating
- Open Fire
- Electric Oven
- Washing Machine
- Towels and Linens Provided
- Travel cot/crib for infants (under 2 years), on request
- Iron & Ironing Board
- Cooking Utensils and Equipment
- 1 Bathroom with bathtub
- 1 Separate Shower Room
- Dining Room
- Sitting Room
- Garden with Garden Furniture
- Sea Views
- Car Parking
Things you should know
There are cliffs nearby and children should be supervised at all times.
Please note that occasional outdoor events take place at lighthouse properties from time to time throughout the year.
If a reservation is made for all 3 properties at Blackhead Lightkeepers Houses by the same group please note that a Refundable Security Deposit will be applied to the reservation.
Irish Landmark Trust has teamed up with Co. Down based food company Hara at Home to offer guests the option to pre-order a premium meal delivery service at Blackhead Lightkeepers’ Houses. Visit www.shophara-food.com to have a look and make your selection for the date required. Order and make payment directly with Hara at Home.
Please see FAQ for further details.
The lighthouse was built on the north shore of the entrance to Belfast Lough in 1901, opposite its twin across the Lough at Mew Island. These two were important in protecting commercial shipping when steam replaced sail in the mid 19th Century, and would have guided all of the great ships of Belfast's shipbuilding glory days, including the ill fated Titanic.
The houses contain interesting fragments of lighthouse paraphernalia, including the whistle pipe system used to wake up the next watch, and a tunnel that was used to travel between the lighthouse and quarters during stormy weather.
Built in the glory days of Belfast's shipping, Blackhead Lighthouse remains as impressive and powerful a navigation aid as ever.
The Story of the Blackhead Light
On the 10 November 1893 the Belfast Harbour Commissioners approached the Northern Lighthouse Board with respect to erecting a lighthouse and fog signal on Blackhead. The Board in their reply a month later stated that they could not recommend the cost of a new light and fog signal coming out of lighthouse funds when the light would only benefit Belfast.
Five years later, in February and March 1898, the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Lloyds and the Belfast Harbour Commissioners all made representations for a light on Blackhead, but the Board referred them to their reply of 18 December 1893.
On 22 April 1898, Sir W. Watson presented a letter to the Board from Sir Courtenay Boyle of the Board of Trade, about a light and fog signal on Blackhead. The Secretary informed Sir William that he was in communication with the Belfast Harbour Board and that the Inspecting Committee was to report. Trinity House were approached and by June they were in favour of the proposal and required particulars. Towards the end of 1898 the Engineer submitted an estimate of £10,025 which was sanctioned by both Trinity House and Board of Trade early in 1899 - the light to be first order, giving two one-and-a-half second flashes every 30 seconds, the flashes separated by one-and-a-half seconds, and the fog signal to give one report every 5 minutes.
In July 1899 William Campbell and Sons received the contract to construct the buildings and tower.
On 30 March 1900 Trinity House drew attention to the fact that the character of Blackhead was similar to that of Blackhead in Wigtownshire, Scotland, the latter which was also nearing completion. The Board was requested to alter the character of the light and the following June the Inspecting Committee recommended a half a minute flash every three seconds. This was sanctioned by Trinity House and they reported that the Northern Lighthouse Board had changed the name of their Blackhead station to Killantringan. The new light was exhibited and fog signal established on 1 April 1902.
During 1918 the fog signal character was altered to one explosion every two minutes, but after January 1919 it reverted to its previous character - one explosion every five minutes
The Carnegie Library Bookcase
In the early years of the 20th century, before the coming of radio and television, the lighthouse and lightship keepers lived relatively lonely lives, serving, in many cases, six-week periods of duty at a time. Consequently, in coastal towns, the Carnegie Libraries granted a special concession to the light keepers by providing each station with a well made oak bookcase which was replenished with a change of books on a regular basis. The public library services of the various county councils eventually took over the function of the Carnegie Libraries but the regular supply of books to the light keepers continued well into the second half of the 20th century. Now that all the lighthouses are automated and no longer manned, the fine oak bookcases that remain in the keepers’ dwellings continue to bear silent witness to the great generosity of Andrew Carnegie, philanthropist extraordinaire.
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
Our buildings were made to the standards of earlier times – and sometimes without the intention that they should be lived in. Consequently, you may encounter features that reflect their particular character but that deserve due care and attention, particularly by the young, elderly, less mobile or visually impaired. Examples of these are steps worn with age, uneven surfaces, low ceilings and beams, unexpected drops or changes in level, and by modern standards low or absent lighting. In all cases we have sought to make a sensible compromise between due regard for safety and the careful retention of the fabric of each building, which makes it an interesting place to stay. We ask you to appreciate and use the building with this understanding. If you have any queries about the property you are interested in and would like more clarification please contact Irish Landmark at email@example.com.
Arrival and Departure Time?
Unless otherwise agreed with the House Manager the earliest time at which you can check in is 4.00p.m. Guests may NOT take over the property any time later then 9.00pm. Guests are requested to vacate the property by 10.00am at the latest on the day of departure.
Is there a TV?
No, but there is a radio, board games, cards and plenty of books.
Is there WiFi?
No, at our properties you have an opportunity to experience the best of a former way of life: beautiful architecture, fascinating history and a peaceful relaxed ambiance, without modern electronic distractions, where you decide the pace of your holiday.
Can I bring a dog?
No. As Blackhead Lightkeepers’ House 1 and 2 are adjacent to one another, they are not suitable for dogs as not all guests are comfortable around animals.
Do you supply towels and bed linen?
Yes. The beds will be made up on your arrival and you will be provided with a bath towel and guest towel according to the number of beds in the property.
Is there an open fire?
Yes. There is an open fire in the sitting room. There is a limited amount of fuel left for the fire (where applicable) so guests may want to bring more for the duration of their stay. Please contact the local House Manager for more information on what type of fuel is used at your chosen property.
Do you supply fuel for the fire?
Irish Landmark Trust supply enough fuel for one night only. Guests will be advised where to purchase fuel for the fire locally.
Do I need a car to get here?
It would be preferable to have a car otherwise it will be difficult to get to shops, etc as the house is situated at the end of a long laneway.
How do I get the keys?
When you complete your booking, you will receive an email giving you information about arranging access on your arrival date
Can I arrive early?
Only by special arrangement with the bookings office and agreement of the local House Manager. A charge is made if you are requesting a morning arrival, as this means we cannot take a booking for the night before your arrival date.
What is the latest departure time?
10.00am. The House Manager will discuss arrangements for your departure on the day you arrive.
How far to the nearest town?
About 10 mins drive back to the town of Whitehead.
Where can I find information about the local area?
Each of our properties contains a Green Book catered to that specific property. In this book, we have compiled all of the necessary information important local amenities such as medical centres and taxi services, including locations and phone numbers. You will also find tips for recommended restaurants, bars, and things to see and do for all ages.
Is there a caterer who will come in to cook meals?
We do not know of anyone who can go in to cook meals at this property.
Is it suitable for children?
This property is surrounded by a low wall but due to its cliff top location, it would be adviseable to supervise young children.
Is it suitable for older people?
Yes. There is a shower room on the ground floor but the bedrooms are upstairs.
Does it have facilities for disabled people?
The ground floor shower room is suitable for the assisted disabled.
Is it suitable for a wheelchair?
Is there central heating?
There is oil central heating with radiators throughout the house.
Is the cooker electric or gas?
There is an electric cooker
Is there a shower?
Yes - there is a separate walk in shower in the shower room.
How many bathrooms?
Can I get to the house by public transport?
Yes. You would get a train or bus to Belfast and then a local train to Whitehead. A taxi could take you onwards from there to the Lighthouse. However, you would need a car to get to local shops, etc.
Where is the nearest train station?
What type of heating is in the house?
Oil central heating.
Can I book for just one night?
What is your minimum booking period?
Irish Landmark Trust have a 2 night stay minimum at all of our properties. Some Special Dates will have restrictions on arrival and departure date which will effect the minimum number of nights.
Is there a garden at the house?
Yes, there is a lawned area.
Is there outdoor furniture?
Yes, a table and chairs are provided.
How many cars can I bring to the house?
Is there parking on site?
Yes, there is onsite parking for 2 cars at the back of the house.
What condiments and products do you supply?
We supply teabags, coffee granules, sugar, salt & pepper, cooking oil, tin foil & kitchen roll, handwash, washing up liquid, dishwashing cloths, and dishwasher tablets if there is a dishwasher. We do not supply any other cleaning products that contain chemicals, including laundry detergents – we suggest you bring your own.
How do I order the premium food delivery with Hara at Home?
Visit www.shophara-food.com to have a look at the menus and make your selection for the date required. Order and make payment directly with Hara at Home. Your House Manager will receive your delivery and have it for you at the property on arrival. Please note this service is available for Friday arrivals only.
HOW TO BOOK AN IRISH LANDMARK HOLIDAY :
It is possible to reserve dates online at www.irishlandmark.com but bookings are not confirmed until a confirmation email is received from the bookings desk.
Your booking must be for holiday purposes only. Irish Landmark reserve the right to refuse hire for purposes other than holiday accommodation. When you make a booking, you accept full responsibility for all persons who will use or visit the property during the period booked. When you book, you agree to indemnify us against all loss and damage arising directly or indirectly to the property and its contents from any deliberate or negligent act or omission by yourself, or any person accompanying you.
CONTRACT OF HIRE:
The hiring contract shall be between the Hirer and Irish Landmark and made subject to these Booking Conditions . The Contract of Hire is not effective until Irish Landmark dispatches to the Hirer written confirmation of a booking.
Click arrival date for cost of stay
“Thanks for a great, relaxing few days! Just what we needed! Great house – much more comfortable than we thought, peaceful, cosy! Great views and sunny weather. Thanks again and hopefully we will be back and would love to try visit some more ILT accommodation.”
” The lighthouse accommodation was absolutely a delight – such a wonderful property in such an amazing location. .. the house in such a special spot ..so wonderfully equipped and so well maintained. Thank you so much for such a great holiday – a unique experience on a cliff in Northern Ireland!! “
A magical place
“We have stayed at the lighthouse a few times but this was our first time staying for Christmas & it did not disappoint. We love staying here even though there is no TV or WiFi and even my nephew who is 11 enjoyed it. Lovely walks and beautiful views. I have dealt with Pamela who was as per usual so easy to deal and nothing ever too much hassle. I would 100% recommend if you are going to visit Ireland definitely stay here it will not disappoint.” (A Berry).
A Winter Escape like no other
“This was a personal break that was really needed and most welcome. We arrived Sunday evening and enjoyed our dinner in the lovely kitchen/dining area and then retired to a roaring fire in the living room as the wind howled outside. It was too good to leave – so instead of going to Belfast on the Monday we stayed and walked the cliff path, had coffee and mince pies in Whitehead, and then went swimming at nearby Portmuck. On the Tuesday Storm,
Berta was in full swing – but we felt safe and loved the comfort of our house. The best place in a storm is near the Lighthouse!” (E Murphy)
Pamela is the House Manager at the Blackhead Lightkeeper’s Cottages. Pamela loves to welcome guests and tell them all there is to do in the area.