Ireland Wexford

Hook Lighthouse

When it comes to lighthouses, none come with a longer history of protecting seafarers than Hook. It’s the world’s oldest operational lighthouse, having stood for over 800 years. There’d been a fire beacon there since the 6th century, tended by monks. But powerful knight William Marshall built the lighthouse between 1210 and 1230 to guide shipping to his port of Ross. The original light was a coal fire beacon, until a lamp burning whale oil replaced it in 1791. That in turn was swapped for gas lights in 1871 and in 1972, the light switched over to electricity. In 1996, the lighthouse became fully automated and the last of the light keepers finally left.