April 30, 2017

3031 IRELAND (Leinster) - Howth Lighthouse in Dublin

Howth Head is a headland north east of Dublin city. Entry to the headland is at Sutton, a residential suburb of Dublin, while village of Howth and the harbour are on the northern shore. Originally an island, Howth Head is connected to the mainland via a narrow strip of land, and forms the northerly bound of the great crescent of Dublin Bay, roughly corresponding to Killiney Hill in the south. At the end of the East Pier of harbour is situated Howth Lighthouse, a scenic treat, but also a symbol for the fight for Irish independence.

The first stone of Howth's new harbour was laid in 1807, granite stone used in construction was quarried locally (at Kilrock), the economy boomed. And faltered almost immediately, as sand and mud proceeded to fill the harbour in record time and maintaining a sufficient depth for the packet ships from Holyhead (Wales) proved to be a never-ending, costly enterprise. Too expensive to keep up, so Dun Laoghaire Harbour became the effective stop for packet ships, its construction beginning in 1817 and using designs of the same architect, John Rennie.

But in April 1816 Rennie had already submitted his proposals the Commissioners of Howth Harbour, for a lighthouse at the end of the East Pier to direct vessels into the entrance of the harbour. In January 1818 the lighthouse was completed, but only on July 1st, 1818, a fixed red light with twelve oil lamps went into operation. In a stout tower approximately 14.5 metres high and very similar to the Rennie design that already was in operation near Holyhead.

After the WWII, electricity as a means of lighting was considered, and in 1955 a 250 Watt lamp on battery power replaced the old oil lighting. As a result, the light keepers' house (a small Georgian style building) has been abandoned. In 1982, the Howth Harbour was modernised, and the lighthouse was effectively made redundant by a small new tower and powerful light on the East Pier Extension. However, Howth Lighthouse was retained in its original form and serves as a day mark, and aid to navigation in good conditions.

Howth Harbour Lighthouse became the setting for a historical event when on July 26th, 1914, the author Erskine Childers arrived here with supplies for the Irish Volunteers. Illegal supplies. Sailing in on his private yacht "Asgard", Childers was effectively gun-running and brought a cache of arms into Ireland. He was later executed by the authorities of the Irish Free State during the Irish Civil War. His son, Erskine Hamilton Childers, became the fourth President of Ireland from 1973 until his death in 1974.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series issued on November 10, 2005 for Christmas 2004.
• 0.48 EUR - It's on the postcard 3031
• 0.60 EUR
• 0.65 EUR

The second stamp is part of the series issued on November 10, 2005 for Christmas 2005.
• 0.48 EUR - It's on the postcard 3031
• 0.60 EUR
• 0.65 EUR

The last stamp is part of the 6th series of definitive stamps, entitled Wild Flowers of Ireland, about which I wrote here

Howth Harbour Lighthouse, by Bernd Biege - Ireland Travel

Sender: John / jr11577 (postcrossing) IE-138765
Sent from Dublin (Leinster / Ireland), on 24.04.2017

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