The magnificent Bull Rock, located 4km off Dursey Island, Beara, West Cork, on the Wild Atlantic Way
The Bull Rock
The magnificent Bull Rock is located 9km off the Beara Peninsula, standing proud out on its own in the Atlantic Ocean. It has a tunnel running straight through the centre of the rock. The island is 93 meters high 228 meters long and 164 meters wide.
On the top of the rock stands a lighthouse built in 1989 following the destruction of the nearby Calf Rock destroyed in a storm!!
On side of the Rock facing the coastline there are house ruins which housed lightkeepers when it was manually operated. When you look at the dramatic location, the positions of the buildings almost dangling on the face of the rock!!! It gives you and insight to the dedication and skill of those involved in building the structures.
There are three hundred steps cut into the rock to access the site. All construction supplies had to be carried by hand up these steps as it was accessed only by boat. On my visits the sun shone, and the sea was calm but imagine a gale force wind with waves lambasting the lighthouse and dwellings this was the life of a lightkeeper!!
There are many documentaries and information available if you like to search for it!
1882 April - Work commenced on Bull Rock by landing a team of miners to the site. A total of 15,957 cubic yards of hard rock was excavated. Over 300 steps had to be cut out of the side of the rock to gain access from the boat landing to the site for the tower. Completed in 1888, the station consisted of an octagonal lighthouse tower, dwellings for the Keepers, an oil-gas works to supply gas for the burners in the optic and an explosive fog-signal, together with steps, boat landings, derricks and hoists. The bi-form hyper-radial optic was the biggest in Ireland.
The Bull Rock is home to one of the largest colony of Gannets and this is a mother and her chick perched high on top. She wasn't at all impressed with the interruption!!
Gannets began visiting the Bull Rock, in 1853 and bred there in 1858. With more than 1,500 nests, the Bull colony is really an extension of the one off the Skellig. The two are within sight of each other and a mere 20km apart.
The joys of being a photographer means you get some fantastic opportunities to get to place you may not otherwise access!! This trip was unique in so far as I was able to get onto the Bull Rock. Dan McCarthy was writing a piece for the Irish Examiner and I was lucky to get the opportunity to join him www.irishexaminer.com. What a fantastic experience thanks to Paul O Shea and Jason Sheehan of durseyboattrips While you can't land on The Bull, Cow and Calf Rock the tour will bring you through the arch and around all three islands where you will have a great view of all the sights.
More information on The Bull Rock can be found on the Commissioners of Irish Lights
Or the RTE Archiveshttps://www.rte.ie/archives/2019/0114/1023147-bull-rock-lighthouse/
The beautiful village of Allihies, Beara, West Cork, Some photographs of the village on a sunny autumn morning!!
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