Business

Iconic 'Great Light' reborn as Titanic Quarter tourist attraction

The Great Light, which dates back to 1887, has been reborn as a tourist attraction
Gareth McKeown

THE growth of Belfast's renowned Titanic Quarter has been boosted by the launch of two new tourist attractions.

The Great Light and Titanic Walkway were officially launched yesterday and add to the extensive maritime heritage in the area.

The Great Light, which dates back to 1887, gave Mew Island Lighthouse on the Copeland Islands its traditional revolving light and guided mariners to and from Belfast Lough until 2014. Featuring the world's first and largest hyper-radial Fresnel lighthouse lens, it was removed from Mew Island in 2014, but now has been reborn as a tourist attraction thanks to the Titanic Foundation.

The project sees the light, which is one of the largest optics of its kind ever built in the world, given a new role, bringing to life the story of lighthouses, their technological developments, their light-keepers and their role in the maritime and industrial history of Belfast and beyond.

The new Titanic Walkway on Victoria Wharf , which opens today, connects the Titanic Slipways to HMS Caroline and the Thompson Dock. Along the new 500 metre

pathway, developed by Titanic Quarter Limited, visitors will learn about the maritime and industrial heritage of the area on their way to the Great Light.

Kerrie Sweeney, chief executive of Titanic Foundation, said:

“At around 130 years old, weighing 10 tonnes and standing seven meters tall, the Great Light is a unique heritage object of national and international importance with links to our maritime and industrial past. We are delighted to have played a role in saving this fantastic artefact and preserving it in Titanic Quarter for everyone to enjoy.”

James Eyre, commercial director of Titanic Quarter, added: “We are delighted to see the completion of the Titanic Walkway and the Great Light. They both add new and exciting aspects to our world class public realm to be enjoyed by those that live, work and visit Titanic Quarter. The Titanic Walkway now provides a seamless connection between our maritime heritage assets from the heart of the city centre to HMS Caroline and the Thompson Dock. We are very grateful for the support and dedication from all of our partners, delivering these magnificent projects.”

The two projects have been funded by Tourism NI, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Belfast City Council, Ulster Garden Villages and the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

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