Fastnet Lighthouse, on a small rock outcropping at the southernmost point of Ireland, is one of the most famous lighthouses in the world. The first Fastnet Lighthouse, made of cast iron, began service on January 1, 1854. The black base of the original lighthouse is still visible on top of the rock.
Construction on a new granite tower began in 1897. It’s composed of more than 2,000 interlocking granite blocks quarried in Cornwall. It took until June 1904 for it to be completed, and it’s considered one of the great achievements in lighthouse construction.
The UK and Ireland have been battered recently by gale force winds and heavy rains by Storm Dennis. Instruments at Fastnet Lighthouse recorded wind gusts at 80 knots over this past weekend, which is when Mary Cadogan shot the short video below.
You can see the lighthouse in the midst of the storm. Is it swaying in the wind and waves? It appears to be. But it is an illusion caused by the use of a high powered zoom lens? What do you think?
In any case, the lighthouse has survived the storm.
Addendum: We received this note from our friend Dave Waller, which could very well explain the effect of the “swaying” lighthouse.
The distortion in the Fastnet video isn’t caused by a lens. It’s called “rolling shutter” and it happens when the CMOS sensor in a camera is recording fast moving objects. In this case, the fast moving object isn’t the tower, it’s the camera being buffeted by high winds. – just so you know! – Dave Waller
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org