Maughold Head Lighthouse

Maughold Head Lighthouse
Photo: Patrick Tubby

Maughold Head Lighthouse is located on the most easterly point of the Isle of Man, a few miles south of Ramsey.

With an increase in trade between Liverpool, Cumbria, and the Scottish ports came an increased demand for a lighthouse on this stretch of the coast.

In 1909 Lord Inverclyde recommended that a fog signal should be established at Maughold Head. At the time there were no navigation aids between Douglas Head and Point of Ayre.

However, since the Bahama Bank Lightvessel was located around four miles offshore from Maughold Head, Trinity House did not think there was an urgent need for a lighthouse.

Following further lengthy debate, a lighthouse was established at Maughold Head on 15th April 1914, and the Bahama Bank Lightvessel was subsequently withdrawn.

View from lighthouse
View from the lighthouse lantern

The tower, which is 77 feet high, is located down 128 steps. The lantern is level with the keepers’ cottages which are at the top of the steps.

The lighthouse was in service for only four and a half months before the outbreak of World War 1. As a result, the light was extinguished most of the time. The Irish Sea was heavily mined at the time.

The lighthouse was automated on 31st March 1993. Electricity was installed, replacing the paraffin lamp operated by clockwork.

Maughold optic
The first order optic prior to replacement
Photo: Thurstan Denne

The cottages and engine room were sold privately after automation. The engine room was converted into accommodation. One of the lantern panes was subsequently blacked out to avoid the light dazzling the occupants of the former engine room. The cottages were sold again in 2014.

Lighthouse cottages

The first order optic was discontinued on 25th November 2016 and replaced with a temporary light until a new Sealite LED lamp came into operation on 17th January 2018.

LED lamps – the former optic is now covered up

It is possible to walk to the headland where there is a small car park and viewing point, though great care must be taken by the steep cliffs. En route to the lighthouse, Maughold Church has the island’s largest collection of carved Celtic and Viking Crosses within its grounds. 

Established: 1914
Engineer: David A and Charles Stevenson
Tower Height: 23 metres
Light Character: Fl (3) W 30 s
Light Range: 21 miles
Elevation: 65 metres
Automated: 1993