Mizen Head Signal Station, built to save lives off the treacherous rocks at Ireland’s most south-westerly point, five miles from Goleen, is open to the public.
An award -winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction, this authentic all-weather experience is a must-see with its spectacular location on high cliffs with swirling Atlantic Ocean tides. From the Car park and Visitor Centre, the Signal Station is a ten minute walk along the path, down the 99 steps and across the Arched Bridge. The Mizen is famous for its wildflowers and sightings of wildlife, dolphins, whales, seals, gannets, kittiwakes and choughs – the bird migration north-south flight path is just a mile off-shore.
South from Mizen Head, the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse, Ireland’s Teardrop, was the last landfall seen by many emigrants to America and one of Marconi’s first telegraph stations. Mizen Signal Station had the first Radio Beacon in Ireland in 1931. The history of Safety at Sea communications is here, Wireless Signals, Racon, GPS and DGPS. There are also displays about the lives of the Irish Lights Keepers who left the Mizen in 1993, the Bridge with full Navigational Aids Simulator, the Automatic Weather Station, Maps and Guided Tours.
- Navigational Aids Simulator- the first in Ireland of its kind.
Real journeys simulating ECDIS, Radar, weather conditions,
other shipping conditions are displayed.
- Automatic Weather Station showing present weather.
- Fastnet Rock – 10th scale model of the famous lighthouse surrounded by a 35’ mural of the Mizen landscape
- Sky to Seabed –500 tiles individually crafted from the ceiling
to the floor.
- Hands – the Lighthouse Keepers’ hobbies
- Wildlife on the Mizen –a photographic collage by Richard Mills
- Lighthouses of the South West Coast by John Eagle.
- Marconi in Crookhaven
- The Shamrock – the restoration of the West Cork Yawl
- Local Keepers and the Irish Lights – a film by Tish Barry
Experience the Magic of the Mizen On the Way
The path leads from the Visitor Centre above to the Signal Station below. On the Way there is plenty to see.
- International Code Flags
- Propellor of the SS Irada taken from the sea off Mizen
- Irish Lights Cutter, used to provision lighthouses
- Lightbuoy from Foreland, Belfast Lough
- Look out for dolphins, whales and basking sharks. Mizen Head is a renowned spot for sea watching
- Seals under the Bridge
- Sea Caves sheltering the remains of L’Impatiente, a French frigate from Wolfe Tone’s fleet
- Choughs, kittiwakes & gannets are our resident seabirds.
- The famous 99 Steps-a test of your fitness!
- The Arched Bridge – It looks as exciting as it is to cross, but don’t be afraid, it is well fenced and solid
- Ancient Rocks-the tortuous folding of Old Red Sandstone
- Views up the west and south coasts.
- Radio Transmission Hut. The first radio beacon in Ireland (the second in the world) was across the gorge.
- The Old Fog Signal House at the end of the point
- The Lights at the end of the world –USA next stop
- MIZEN EXPERIENCE
The Irish Lights Signal Station
- THE KEEPERS’ KITCHEN & BEDROOM
The original rooms have been retained to recall the lifestyle of the men of the Irish lights.
- MIZEN ENVIRONMENT
The corridor has been turned into a cave with vistas of the ecology and heritage of the Mizen Peninsula.
- THE BUILDING OF THE FASTNET LIGHTHOUSE
The first room displays the fascinating story of the building of the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.
- SEA LIFE AND UNDERWATER WRECKS
The second room evokes life underwater. There are over 80 major wrecks round the Mizen and hundreds of smaller boats.
- THE FASTNET RACE
The third room shows the Fastnet Light as seen from the deck of an Ocean Racer. The world famous race from Cowes to Plymouth round the Fastnet takes place biennially.
- THE ENGINE ROOM
This room houses the massive generator, the last one of three which used to power the station in emergencies when mainland power was cut. ‘The Land is the Danger’, Norris Davidson’s 1970s film of the Irish Lights’ Service is shown in here.
- THE MAPS AND ARCHIVES ROOM
This room houses a unique collection of facsimile maps and coastal
pilots held in the security stores of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Since the time ofPtolemy this area has been named on maps and charts. Irish Lights Archives show the everyday life on a Station
|Mid-March, April, May, Sept & Oct||Everyday 10.30am-5pm|
|June to August||Everyday 10am-6pm|
|November-Mid-March||Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm|
PRICES FOR 2011:
|Children Under 12||€3.50|
|Children Under 5||Free|
|Family Ticket: 2 Adults/3 Children||€18.00|
There is a Mizen Café and Shop at the Mizen Centre, toilets and plenty of parking.
Telephone: + 353 28 35115/35225 (To dial within Ireland (028-35115)