Bright Idea | Historic Lighthouse Optic to be installed on Belfast’s Titanic Walkway

Planning permission has been granted for the installation of the historic Mew Island Optic, a beautifully unique piece of maritime heritage, on the Titanic Walkway in Belfast.

Mew island optic

The Mew Island Optic. Image Titanic Foundation

The Mew Island Optic dates back to 1887 and is one of the largest and one of the last surviving optics of its kind. Weighing 10 tonnes and 7 metres tall it was originally a beacon on Tory Island before it was moved to Mew Island at the mouth of Belfast Lough in 1924. There it served as a vital navigation for ships coming into the port until it was removed when the lighthouse was automated.

Artist impression of what the installation will look like. Picture Hall McKnight

The optic will shine again as a centrepiece to the new pedestrian walkway that will be opened in Belfast this summer. The optic will be located on the Titanic Walkway which is being developed to connect the Titanic and Olympic slipways to Alexandra and Thompson Dock. The optic will be housed in a new interpretive structure designed to resemble a lighthouse lantern room.

Titanic Foundation’s chief executive, Kerrie Sweeney, said: “We are delighted to announce that planning permission for Mew Optic’s new home on Titanic Quarter’s waterfront has been officially granted by Belfast City Council’s planning service. We are now one step closer to helping save and restore one of the largest optics of its kind ever constructed, an artefact of national and international significance. This will certainly create a legacy Belfast landmark which will inspire our future generations.”

The new art piece is expected to be completed and in place this summer.

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22