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Bunbeg Signal Tower

The Irish Signal Stations are prominent but poorly understood features around much of the Irish Coast. The sites were constructed in the first decade of the 19th century as part of an extensive program of coastal defences commissioned in response to the repeated attempts by French forces to invade Ireland that occurred in 1796 and 1798.

The system of signal towers ran from the very northern tip of Ireland, Malin Head in County Donegal, all the way around the west coast and the south coast and up the east coast as far as Dublin Port where the chain terminated at Pigeon House Fort.

Construction on the sites began in 1804 and was largely completed by 1806. Around 80 sites were utilised but it is thought that not all of them were completed or utilised and in some locations additional stations seem to have been added where inter-visibility was found to be problematic.

The sites were only in use for a few years before stretches of the system began to be abandoned, as the threat of another French Invasion diminished. Parts of the system were re-commissioned during the War of 1812 when American Privateers operated off  the west coast of Ireland. Most of the abandoned sites were stripped of timber and dressed stone and left to fall into ruin,