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Marconi Aerial Sites

Marconi Aerial Sites

Many visitors to Conamara will be familiar with the Marconi station at Derrygimlagh near Clifden which is now promoted as a visitor attraction. Those willing to take on a bit more exercise will find interesting industrial remains on Corrywongaun Hill opposite Diamond Hill at Letterfrack. Here spread out over a kilometre are the concrete bases of three Marconi aerials, the highest of these on the summit of the hill at 272 metres and pictured here.

Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) pioneered transatlantic radio communications in 1901, transmitting from Cornwall to Newfoundland. Moving further west, he built the Derrygimlagh site in 1907 and the Corrywongaun aerials followed in 1913. It was a duplex system with a transmitting station in Nova Scotia sending radio signals across the Atlantic to this receiver site at Corrywongaun. Meanwhile Derrygimlagh transmitted to a receiver in Louisbourg, USA. These aerials consisted of large wooden poles held by staywires. Stretched between these were wires used for transmitting and receiving.

These were significant industrial structures providing much needed local employment on the remote western coast. But bizarrely were attacked & sabotaged by anti Treaty forces in 1922, leading to their closure soon afterwards.

Looking east from Derrygimlagh Hill here lies Dúchruach, the dark peak and a very fine hill in it’s own right that requires a bit of route finding through the multiplicity of crags. This and details of the Marconi aerial sites here found on our Connemara Mountains 1:25,000 map. Buy online or in Letterfrack in Books at One.

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