Malin Head

Lloyd’s Semaphore Signalling Building

The Original Building Stands Today  (View from the back)

The original Lloyds Signalling Station building still stands today although in ruins. It was built in 1884 and incorporates a porch section on the south side of the building shown on the left. This is the entrance to the building.

There is still evidence of 2 small extensions to the building at the right of the above photograph. These may have been for storage or toilets. There was no water at the station and the occupants collected rain water from the roof for washing and drinking. There was no shortage of rain in this area.

View from inside the Lloyds Semaphore Signalling Building Today.

The inside view today shows the remains of the fire place that would have been used to keep the building warm. The main fuel that would have been used here would have been turf.

On the side wall and floor there is evidence of some form of fixings maybe for securing equipment and semaphore items. Sadly we have no pictures of the inside when the building was in use.


Semaphore Building in the 1900’s

Semaphore Building 2014

In 1870 Lloyds of London (marine insurers) acquired the signal tower (Banbas Tower as it’s known now) as part of its policy ‘to protect the interests of members of the society in respect of shipping and cargoes…’ In keeping with this policy Malin Head would be used to collect weather reports and convey them to international shipping using semaphore and a telescope from the top of the tower. In 1887 built the building and tower shown above. Lloyds also built a second station on Inishtrahull Island, 7 miles off shore.

Lloyd’s Semaphore Signalling Building at Malin Head Built in 1884

At the end of 1901 work commenced to house and install a Marconi Wireless radio station at Malin Head. A tubular mast was erected and modifications made to the towers second floor which was used as the radio telegraph wireless room.

The Marconi Radio equipment which had been previously used in the Ballycastle/Rathlin islands tests was installed at Malin Head and Inishtrahull Island in January 1902.

Malin Head wireless station was opened in January 1902 and operated by the Marconi Marine Company on behalf of Lloyds with the callsign "MH". Located at the northern most tip of Ireland, this station was ideally positioned to communicate with shipping coming across the Atlantic or from northern waters.