• Cyril McAree

Free Tours For Couples At Hook Lighthouse This Valentine's Day

Sitting at the tip of breathtaking Hook Head in County Wexford the world's oldest intact working lighthouse is offering couples the chance for seaside romance this Valentine's Day with the chance to explore the ancient lighthouse for free on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018.

Couples are invited to climb the 115 steps of this fifth-century tower where the monks of Hook Head in Co Wexford lit fires to warn ships off the rocks. With each step, you ascend you will delve back in time and hear the fascinating tales of the Knights, the Monks and Lightkeepers who lived there along with the battles, shipwrecks and heroic seafaring they encountered before you step onto the tower balcony to view the miles of sea and coastline stretching out across the Celtic Sea.

Also on offer at the 800-year-old lighthouse is a delicious sharing platter of a selection of homemade desserts plus two glasses of prosecco for €10 each, available at the Lighthouse Café from Saturday, February 10th to Sunday, Feb 18th, 2018.

According to Hook Lighthouse Manager, the ancient tower is the place for many romantic occasions. "Hook Lighthouse certainly brings out the romance in couples, we see many proposals take place on the upper balcony and often we have helped a proposer to plan the perfect moment, which we are delighted to do. It's a stunning setting here on the Southeast coast, so it's not surprising really that many couples get engaged here."

Hook Lighthouse is rich in history, character, natural beauty and romance. The tower was built by the 1st Earl of Pembroke William Marshal also known as the ‘greatest knight that ever lived', he came to Ireland for land but also for love; he married the daughter of Earl Richard of Striguil otherwise known as ‘Stongbow'. His wife Isabel de Clare's inherited wealth paired with William's earned status made for a fortuitous pairing, they became very much the medieval ‘power couple'. From what can be gleaned from the history books, the marriage was successful at a personal level. They were to have ten children, five boys and five girls, and there is no hint of there ever being any estrangement between them.

Although inseparable throughout their 30-year married life, Isabel and William remain separated in death. As befits his status and Templar affiliation, he is buried in the Temple Church in London, while she is buried in Tintern Abbey in Wales, close to her mother, Aoife (a Waterford woman and wife of Strongbow). But there is also an Irish connection for Isabel's remains, a cenotaph discovered in the churchyard of St Mary's in New Ross, Co. Wexford, carries the words Isabel Laegn (Isabel of Leinster). It is suggested that the cenotaph marks the burial place of Isabel's heart, as her heart always remained in Ireland.

For further details see www.hookheritage.ie


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