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Report - - Ballyhornan Life Boat House 13/3/2021 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Ballyhornan Life Boat House 13/3/2021


StephenLees1999

28DL Member
28DL Member
The Old Watch House

Nestled in a quiet cove stoically overlooking the Guns Isle, peering toward the prevailing wind and piercing rain of the unforgiving Irish sea. Stands a the large grey stone victorian structure, battered and aged by the storms for over 100 years, nowadays we are only graced by the shell of what once served the call of those in need on waves, so harsh and relentless. However, that doesn't take away from the fact while visiting the site with all that's left, you can still imagine what it must have felt like for these brave men, who were ready at a moment's notice to rush down the slipway to assist any unfortunate soul who was left at the mercy of the sea and forsaken to feel her icy grasp, regardless of the conditions. I found myself lost for a moment pondering on the setting back when the watch house was operational I could so very vividly see the weatherbeaten faces of courageous men poised and ready for anything. The sensory smells and sounds of the sea only helping to further heighten the depth of my contemplation.

An Entirely Brief and all be it Undocumented History


Although the site is quite the local landmark I remain unsure of the history, other than what I've deduced from my own visual investigation of the site and what I have cobbled together from local hearsay or what can be recalled through living memory, furthermore to date there is very little written about it.

What I can say is the construction would have been roughly that of Victorian Architecture and built predominantly with materials such as stones from the neighboring beaches. The house operated an oar-propelled wooden lifeboat manned by local men from Ballyhornan. There was once an ornate brass compass that stood atop a pillar on the caved-in wall to the right side of the house serving as a general navigational indicator for the lifeboatmen, at some point the brass was removed probably stolen for its high value, as I understand the pillar collapsed in a harsh storm in 2014 succumbing to the will of the pounding sea. In one of the photographs, there is a name inscribed on a stone in one of the walls (R Fitz 1930) this has been speculated as a Richard Fitzsimons AKA (Dicky) a common enough surname for the location, and I'm told a well-known member of the community. Later in its life it was rented out as a summer home for a good few years and slowly began to fall into disrepair. Reports then after were that it was inhabited by a resident vagabond who squatted in it for a short while. Today it stands as A local monument of curiosity on our picturesque coastline.

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(R Fitz 1930)
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Not my photo of the compass. Credits to Paul McErlane. However, seen as I don't have a picture I wanted to add one to place emphasis on both the age and how it would have looked.
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We see here a photo depicting how it would have looked with a roof, we can see the pillar where the compass would have stood at the top of the slipway circled in red. The pipe running into the sea is actually the outflow for neighboring RFA Bishops Court. There are stairs on the side of the building leading up to the second level where the lifeboatmen could sit and keep a watchful eye out to sea. We can also observe 3 chimney stacks as this was a considerably substantial building and being so close to the sea as you could imagine, would have needed a few fires to keep both the building warm and dry off the crew from the cold and wetness of the ocean.


A truly interesting explore with spectacular views. If you find yourself passing through the area, do take a moment to stop by!

And remember... Take Photos, Leave Footprints, Make memories! ;)
 

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