Knockadoon Signal Tower
Knockadoon Signal Tower lies on a headland south of the town of Youghal, in County Cork in Ireland.
At the beginning of the 19th century Ireland feared a French invasion. So, in 1803, a plan was made to build signal towers all around the coast of Ireland. They had to spot an incoming fleet of invaders and through signals warn the government in Dublin. In 1804 and 1805 a total of 81 of these towers were built. All are situated on strategically high and often remote, exposed locations near the coast. They all had inter-visibility with their 'neighbors'. Signalling was done by means of flags and balls on a mast in front of the tower.
The towers themselves were used as quarters for the signalling crew (between 8 and 12 men), defendable against a small attacking force. Although there is some variation, mostly all the towers are of broadly similar construction: square, 2 (sometimes 3) storeys high, a flat roof with a parapet, an entrance door at 1st floor level, at the seaward side, machicolations at the landward side and above the entrance door, and fireplaces. Their exteriors were rendered or weather-slated for protection against the elements. There may also have been smaller ancillary structures at these sites, and at some sites the crew were growing some of their own food. The whole complex was usually enclosed by a wall or sloping bank for some extra protection.
After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, the threat of a French invasion diminished. This, together with the high maintenance costs, caused the abandonment of most of the weather-beaten towers.
Knockadoon Signal Tower is still in good condition. There is also a small ancillary structure with large windows. Probably it was used for observing the sea and as a base for the signalling mast. Freely accessible.