It is one of the extreme points of the island of Ireland. At the head are the Visitor Centre and Signal Station, which stands on a dramatic promontory and linked to the mainland by the famous Suspension Bridge.
In 1906 the Board of Trade together with the Irish Lights Board decided to build a Fog Signal Station on Cloghane Island, Mizen Head. In 1909 the fog signal was established and in bad visual conditions the keepers manually set off a charge of explosive at 3mins intervals. The arched bridge was built in 1908-1910 to connect the island to the mainland. In 1931 a wireless beacon was installed at Mizen Head and in 1959 a light was placed on the rocks at the end of the head at a height of 180 with a range of 13 miles in clear weather. The fog signal was discontinued in the 1970s when sonar and satellite navigation (GPS) took over. Mizen Head Signal Station has participated in the whole history of radio communications up to the DGPS mast on the site today. At the old Keeper's House you can see how the keepers at the station lived and worked from 1909 when it was built up until 1993 when the signal station was converted to automatic operation and the lightkeepers were permanently withdrawn.
The old bridge, built in 1910 to connect the island to the mainland, was replaced by a new one opened officially August 4th 2011. The bridge was closed in 2005 after it was deemed unsafe. Funded by Fαilte Ireland, the Commissioners of Irish Lights and Cork County Council at a cost of 1.8m, the footbridge has a span of 52m at the high of 45m above sea level. It is an almost exact replica of the original Victorian steel bridge but it will not be painted white like the old bridge. The original bridge designer was Noel Ridley of Westminster and the Contractor was Alfred Thorne and Sons of Westminster. The new bridge was designed as a two-pinned arch and is constructed in reinforced concrete using stainless steel reinforcement.
Thanks to funding programme of EU funding for rural development in 1993, with a lease from the Irish Lights, the local community in Goleen Parish registered a co-operative to develop a visitor attraction at Mizen Head. Murphys Irish Stout, West Cork Bottling, Cork County Council, Ford Ireland Ltd. all contributed to the matching funding. The core of the funding came from the shareholders in the co-operative society. Shares are sold at 35 euro and at present there are over 600 shareholders, local and international. In June 1994 after the last Light keepers left the Mizen the Visitor Centre was opened to the public.
Along the way there are several paths up to wonderful views north along the coast to the Sheep's Head and the Beara Peninsulas and south to the Sea Arch. The area is known for its wildflowers, sea birds, seals, whales and dolphins.
Mid March, April, May, September and October: Everyday 10.30-17:00
June-August: Everyday 10:00-18:00
November-Mid March: Saturday and Sunday 11:00-16:00
Children under 12: 3.50
Children under 5: Free
Family Ticket: 2 Adults + 3 Children 18
Groups 10+ less 10%
Tel.: +353 (0) 28 35115 OR +353 (0) 28 35225
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
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