There are a few St. John’s Point Lighthouses to be found in Ulster, but none match the beauty that the Donegal one possesses. The lighthouse is used as a harbour light to guide from Donegal Bay and is used to also mark the north side of the bay leading to Killybegs harbour from the entrance to Rotten Island.

Along with this magnificent structure you will find everything from standing stones to an old abbey in the vicinity. The coastline of Sligo and Mayo lies to the south of St John’s Point.

st Johns Point Lighthouse Donegal

Image: Louise Price [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

On the coastline you will find the island of Inishmurray which is rich in archaeological remains and Streedagh Point which played a pivotal part in the Spanish Armada.

To the west you can find the beautiful sea cliffs of Sliabh League and to the east you can see past Doorin Point towards Donegal town.

[su_spacer]

History of the Lighthouse

The history of the lighthouse dates back to the early 1800s. The Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin (also known as the Ballast Board) received a memorial on 24th February 1825. It had been signed by merchants and traders from what was then and still is the largest fishing port in County Donegal – Killybegs.

Their requested was that a light was affixed to St John’s Point. The move was held up by red tape and only got given the go ahead in April 1829, with Trinity House providing the statutory seal of approval needed one month later.

The tower itself is built from cut granite and was designed by the Board’s Inspector of Works and Lighthouses – George Halpin – and it was under his supervision that the board’s workmen erected St John’s Point Lighthouse.

The tower, painted in a classic white, had a first order catoptric fixed light which stood 98 feet above high water with a clear weather visibility of 14 miles. The light was first exhibited before the completion of the lighthouse on the 4th November 1831. The lighthouse wasn’t completed until the tail end of 1833 and the finished result came to a total of £10,507.

Although at the time that was a considerable outlay for any structure it proved to be a wise investment with the original structure still standing firm and only minor improvements needed since to modernise the landmark.

The lighthouse moved to an automatic unwatched operation on 30th November 1932 while it converted to electric using ESB utility mains with a diesel generator on standby on the 24th September 1962.
Killybegs harbour remains the largest fishing port in Donegal with large Irish and International trawlers coming and going daily.

Lurgybrack Open Farm

Lurgybrack Open Farm is a special place where all the family can spend the day together seeing the animals and having fun. The centuries old farm building is home to a range of friendly farm animals that children can come face to face with.

The Mill Restaurant Dunfanaghy

The Mill Restaurant Dunfanaghy - The award winning Mill Restaurant has an idyllic location on the shores of New Lake on the outskirts of Dunfanaghy - a place which has become a haven for seabirds in...

Swimming Pools in Donegal

Swimming Pools in Donegal – in addition to swimming pools attached to hotels, Co. Donegal has quite a number of swimming pools open to the public and visitors. Find out more by visiting our page.

Oakfield Park Gardens Donegal

Oakfield Park Gardens Donegal - Oakfield Park is a privately owned house set in 100 acres of magnificent parkland, woodlands and gardens near the town of Raphoe in the heart of County Donegal. The...

Donegal Garden Trail

Donegal Garden Trail - The Donegal Garden Trail is a voluntary initiative that seeks to promote garden visiting in the county and helps to raise funds for charity.The Garden Trail now has...

Donegal Bay Waterbus

The Donegal Bay Waterbus is a purpose built, luxury passenger boat, capable of comfortably taking 165 passengers; seated on lower and open top decks on a sight seeing cruise of the many points of...

Whitehouse Garden Castlefin Donegal

Whitehouse Garden Castlefin Donegal - The Whitehouse Garden in Castlefinn, Co. Donegal is a project sanctioned by the Irish Government in conjunction with the Castlefinn Partnership Initiative....

Dog Friendly Donegal Cottages

Dog Friendly Donegal Cottages – bring your pet on holiday to one of the many dog friendly cottages listed on DonegalCottageHolidays

Monreagh Heritage Centre

The Monreagh Heritage Centre is housed in a former Presbyterian manse and is located in the heart of the Laggan, a district in the east of County Donegal that has been shaped by waves of migration, most significantly by Scottish settlers in the 17th century.

Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains is a remote and hauntingly beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains, deep glens and pristine lakes.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This