The Skerries lighthouse (53° 25’.3 N; 04° 36’.4 W) is situated to the North-East of Holyhead off the Isle of Anglesey. The rocks upon which the lighthouse stand are at the end of a low tract of submerged land, directly in the path of the major shipping lines operating to and from Ireland.
In 1716 the first working beacon started operation on the Skerries. This was a simple round tower, 35 feet high with an open grate on top in which coal was burnt. In 1987 the lighthouse was finally automated.
Today the Skerries are home to a large breeding colony of Arctic Tern (approximately 2,500 breeding pairs in 2008). Roseate Tern breeds occasionally in very small numbers. The following species also breed on the islands: Puffin, Black-legged Kittiwake, Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull. The Skerries are wardened by the RSPB during the tern breeding season.
West Mouse islet
The Mouse is known as Maen-y-Bugail (The Shepherd’s Stone) in Welsh. This is based on an old tale about a shepherd who lived on the headland.
While tending his flock of sheep, he got a stone in his shoe. The stone caused him a lot of pain and in his anger he pulled out the stone and threw it out to sea. And so we have West Mouse.
This white beacon, in daylight of course, is a day mark which helps local shipping as they navigate past this very tidal stretch of the coast.