Irish Georgian Society

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Conservation Cromwell Point Lightkeeper's House

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Historical background:

Situated just off the rugged coast of Kerry, north of the Skellig Islands, Cromwell Point Lighthouse was commissioned in 1837 and started functioning in 1841, while the residence was added later to house the lightkeeper. As the need for such a lightkeeper disappeared with the advent of mechanisation, the house fell into severe disrepair by the early twenty-first century. It was subsequently taken in as a conservation project by the Irish Landmark Trust who restored it for use as a short term holiday let. In 2007 the Irish Georgian Society contributed over €2,000 to the repair and conservation of two of the house’s sash windows.

Brief description of project:

The window repairs undertaken with the help of the Society’s grant involved replacing rotted bottom window rails and splicing them into side rails, replacing rotted mortice and tenon joints with epoxy resin, joining window heads to external masonry using hydraulic lime mortar, and replacing broken window panes with exact replicas. 

By functioning as a short term holiday let, the lightkeepers’s house will generate revenue to further fund its maintenance. The Irish Georgian Society is pleased that a suitable use has been found to sustain the structural health of this unusual property.

Architectural description:

The lightkeepr’s house is an asymmetrical stone and concrete building erected in 1910. It is a two-storey listed building of block work construction with a parapet roof and quoin stones, built within the walled grounds of the lighthouse. The exterior is uneven in appearance as the small, enclosed porch is off-centre and each of the two narrow ends contains an irregular number of windows. A small sheltered room for a water tank exists above the porch. Internally there are three rooms and a cloakroom downstairs with two rooms and a bathroom upstairs.