Galley Head Lightkeeper's Cottages - Irish Landmark Trust
Galley Head Lightkeeper's Cottages are perched on dramatic cliffs at about 130 feet above sea level overlooking St George's Channel, near Castlefreke, Clonakilty, County Cork.
Galley Head Lightkeeper's Cottages in their elevated setting makes an ideal location for relaxing and getting away from it all. There are two houses on the station. The views from every angle are awe inspiring and breathtaking. Galley Head lighthouse station is close to the award winning village of Clonakilty. This vibrant market town is a must see for tourists. Guests can enjoy a wide range of activities from dolphin and whale watching, surfing at Inchydoney Blue Flag Beach or a historical walking tour of Clonakilty.
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 lighthouse displays an unusual landward arc of light because, it is said, the Sultan of Turkey asked to be able to see it from nearby Castlefreke at Rosscarbery while on a visit there.
The house at Castlefreke, abandoned in 1952, can now be seen from Galley as a gothic ruin. The two keepers' houses at Galley Head were taken on by Irish Landmark in the final years of the 20th century. Lightkeeper who lived here would have witnessed the tragic loss of the Lusitania in 1915, and sighted a German ship carrying arms, in disguise as a Norwegian steam, being pursued up the St. George's Channel by British destroyers a year later.