Banba’s Crown and lookout tower.
Continuing our drive around the northern part of Inishowen in Co. Donegal, we arrived at the most northerly point on mainland Ireland, Malin Head. The area is known as Banba’s Crown, named after an ancient Irish godess. A prominent feature on the skyline as we approached, was the lookout tower, built by the British at the start of the 19th century to guard against an invasion by Napoleon’s forces.
View from Banba’s Crown. The area has a raised beach of international scientific importance, dating from an era when sea levels were higher.
It is clearly a good spot for lookout posts, as aswell as the Napoleonic tower, there are the ruins of a lookout post from World War II, used by Irish Defence Forces to guard the country’s neutrality.
The World War II lookout post.
The view from inside the lookout post.
Another interesting historical feature dating from the Second World War, are the large, white letters on the ground spelling out “Eire”, the Irish word for Ireland. The letters were designed to be seen from the air, and to warn aircraft on all sides in the confict that they were over neutral Ireland. It has recently emerged that Ireland was not as neutral as it portrayed, and that these signs, which could be found at various points round the coast, often included numbers which were a secret code, given only to the Allied nations, and which helped their aircraft to determine their position.
The letters here are now surrounded by smaller scale versions made by visitors spelling out their names etc.