Golam Head Signal Station, County Galway

The unenclosed signal station at Golam Head is located on the summit of the low hill at the south west of the headland, at 29m OD. The headland is only accessible on foot for an hour or two either side of low tide and even then involves wading through shallow water with masses of seaweed. The site has expansive views in all directions except the north east. The adjacent signal station to the south on Inishmore is easy to spot on a clear day but the largely destroyed station to the north west on Cuileen Hill can no longer be seen from this location. The local area consists of low rock strewn hills separated by steep sided boggy valleys. The signal tower is located at the south western end of a shallow valley that runs away to the north east, and it is possible this area was quarried to provide building stone for the tower.

The signal tower on Golam Head in the centre of the image. The good survival of the upper portions of the tower is reflected in the sharpness of its shadow.                                                (Image courtesy of Bing Maps).



The only visible features at the signal station are the signal tower and a low field wall that connects to the signal towers northern corner. The signal tower measures around 5.85m across and is largely complete to the full height of its walls, including the coping stones. The exterior of the tower is entirely devoid of render leaving the rubble constructed walls fully exposed.  The signal tower features the usual arrangement of a first floor doorway protected by a machicolation and two small bartizans on the corners of the wall opposite the doorway.


The tower follows the standard arrangement of internal features, with a semi basement, four ground floor windows, a ground floor fireplace set between two alcoves, a split mezzanine level between the ground floor and first floor, four first floor windows, a first floor fireplace set between two alcoves, a small attic, and it would have featured an accessible roof area with entrances to the corner bartizans and the machicolation over the doorway. A drainage channel runs down the north western corner of the north eastern wall, that brought rain water from the roof down into the semi basement.

Golam Head NE Interior stitch.JPG
The interior of the north east wall, showing the fireplaces and the flanking alcoves. The impressions of shelves can be seen in the render in the first floor alcoves.

The dressed stone work is complete around the first floor windows and the doorway but has been removed from the ground floor windows. The south western ground floor window on the south eastern wall has been carefully expanded to form a ground floor door, and traces of a neat concrete door frame can still be seen.

4 South East.jpg
The south eastern wall showing the expanded ground floor window that was converted into a doorway.

A crude dry stone wall abuts the northern corner of the signal tower and runs off to the north west for a distance of approximately 100m. This wall clearly post-dates the signal tower and is assumed to be the westernmost wall in a field system that divides and encloses the rest of the headland to the east.


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