Lloyds Signal Tower in Malin Head

Lloyds Signal Tower Malin Head
Lloyds Signal Tower Malin Head

This is Ireland’s most northerly building on the mainland. It was named ‘Banba’ after the mythological patron goddess of Ireland. It was built by the British in 1805 as a Napoleonic lookout tower to help defend against a possible French invasion. In 1902 the Marconi Company succeeded in sending the first commercial message by wireless from Malin Head to the ship S.S. Lake Ontario thus establishing Malin Head as an important staging post for future trans-Atlantic communication,

It’s location was vital for daily shipping as the coast line around Malin Head are some of the most treacherous waters in the world with over 400 ship wrecks being recorded. The Lloyds Insurance Group of London even used it to contact ships offshore – especially during WWI and WWII.

During World War II, the Irish Goverment allowed the British government to site two radio radio direction finders on Malin Head. This top-secret operation was mentioned in the The Cranborne Report. The RDF equipment was used to monitor U-Boat and aerial activity in the North Atlantic.

After the war, the site became a weather station for the Irish Meteorological Service and a Navtex transmitting station.

This entire area is also of global significance to geologists as it has Ireland’s oldest rocks, 4 levels of ancient shoreline and the highest sand-dunes in Europe.

It is also an ideal vantage point from which to view the Autumnal movements of seabirds such as gannets,shearwaters, skuas, auks and others, on their southward migration flights.