Ferris Point Lighthouse

Ferris Point Lighthouse
Photo: Patrick Tubby

Ferris Point Lighthouse is located on the eastern entrance of Lough Larne at the north end of Islandmagee.  The first lighthouse was built here in 1838, and a light was displayed on 1st February 1839.  The keepers’ dwellings were built a year later.  The site was a buoy depot and storage facility.

Petitions for a lighthouse at Ferris Point date back to around ten years before its construction.  The shipowners of Larne petitioned for a light that was needed on Sandy Point or Ferris Point.

View across to Ferris Point
Photo: Patrick Tubby

Pete’s Blogspot shows a postcard of the old lighthouse.

In the 1890s, the keepers and their families were living at Maidens Lighthouse. The Commissioners acquired accommodation near Bay Road in Larne for the families.  Around ten years later, new double-storey houses were built at Ferris Point.

In 1906 the Principal Keeper for Ferris Point Lighthouse also became responsible for Maidens Lighthouse.  Each Assistant Keeper spent a month at Maidens Lighthouse, followed by 10 days ashore at Ferris Point. While ashore, he assisted with nearby Barr Point Fog Signal station and repair work at the buoy depot.  This arrangement ceased in 1951.

Buoy Depot
Photo: Patrick Tubby

Following the automation of Maidens lighthouse in 1977, it was then monitored from Ferris Point.

The light was converted to electricity from oil operation in November 1957.

A modernisation programme later took place, and a new square tower with a lookout room below the lantern was built in 1976. Looking more like a control tower, it became the operations and monitoring centre for fog signals and buoys in the area. The Keepers at Ferris Point monitored Barr Point Fog Signal and Maidens lighthouse and the Chaine Tower across the lough.

Helipad and lighthouse
Photo: Patrick Tubby

It was also the helicopter base for the rock and island lights in the Northern Ireland area.  Buoy workshops and gas stores were also located at Ferris Point.

The old lighthouse remained after its replacement, but 1991 its lantern was removed.  The plan was to relocate it to Carnlough Harbour, but most of the lantern seems to have disappeared. 

Spiral staircase
Photo: Patrick Tubby

The lighthouse was discontinued in 1994 as lights at Larne Port obscured the light, but visiting engineers still use the accommodation.

Barr Point Fog Signal is visible from Ferris Point, as are the Maidens Lighthouses and Chaine Tower across the water.

Barr Point is located at the Golf Club.

Established: 1838, Current tower: 1976
Discontinued: 1994
Engineer: A D H Martin
Tower Height: 16 metres