Galley Head

Galley Head

The Galley Head is a headland and lighthouse outside of Rosscarbery, County Cork, on the south coast of Ireland.Galley Head Lighthouse station [] is situated on the Galley Head or Dundeady headland in the very heart of West Cork at about 130 feet above sea level, overlooking St George's Channel and 2 magnificent beaches, Red strand to the East and the Long Strand to the West . The headland is cut off from the mainland by the ancient walls of the old Norman stronghold of Dondeady, an important fortress of the local O’Cowhig Clan.

The two keeper’s houses have been returned to their original symmetrical layout and they sleep 4-6 people in each. They are linked by an internal door, so that larger parties (8-12) might be accommodated. Each house has a double and twin bedroom, and a fold down sofa bed, plus bathroom, kitchen and sitting room. Both houses have adjoining walled lawns and guests should be aware that the station is situated on a clifftop.

The station was built in 1875, during the heyday of lighthouse building, and within twenty years of its closest neighbours at Old Head of Kinsale and Fastnet. The Galley Head and the Fastnet have the distinction of being two of the most powerful lighthouses in Europe. The lighthouse displays an unusual landward arc of light because, it is said, the Sultan of Turkey asked to be able to see it from Castle Freke at Rosscarbery nearby on his visit there. The castle, abandoned in 1952 can be seen from Galley as a Gothic ruin.

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