At almost 800 years old, Hook Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in the world. It sits proudly on the tip of the Hook Peninsula in in County Wicklow, overlooking the eastern entrance to Waterford Harbour.
The tower was built by Strongbow’s son-in-law William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, who succeeded Strongbow as Lord of Leinster. Pembroke had established a port in the town of New Ross, approx. 30 km up river. In order for his new port to be successful and for ships to safely reach their destination, Pembroke had a 36m high tower built at the mouth of Waterford Harbour. The exact year of construction is not known, but Pembroke first came to the region in 1201 and the first map that shows the lighthouse serving its function is dated 1240, so construction must have taken place between these dates.