Historic optic to light up Belfast's maritime heritage

The Mew Island Lighthouse Optic
The Mew Island Lighthouse Optic
An extremely rare lighthouse optic lens is set to light up the city’s maritime heritage, thanks to National Lottery players.

The HLF has awarded £332,000 to restore and interpret the former Mew Island Lighthouse Optic and put it on public display in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

The optic was removed from Mew Island Lighthouse several years ago as the lighting process became automated, and has been without a home ever since.  At around 130 years old, weighing 10 tonnes and standing 7 meters tall, it is a unique heritage object of national and international importance with links to our maritime and industrial past.    

[quote= Paul Mullan, Head of HLF Northern Ireland] "It is with thanks to National Lottery players that this very rare and hugely significant artefact can be saved." [/quote]

The new project from Titanic Foundation Limited will see the optic given a new role as an iconic attraction which brings 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 optic will be displayed in a fully rotational curved glass structure in its new location on the Titanic Walkway, which is currently being developed to connect Titanic & Olympic Slipways and Alexandra Dock.

Announcing the award, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said: “It is with thanks to National Lottery players that this very rare and hugely significant artefact can be saved and given new purpose for generations to come.  Following its restoration the optic will act as a beacon to visitors and adds to the wealth of maritime heritage attractions on offer in the Titanic Quarter, and we are delighted to be involved.”

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