Lighthouses of Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is an independent nation in the Leeward Islands, located near the northeastern corner of the Caribbean Sea. Discovered by Columbus in 1493, Antigua was originally settled by the Spanish but became a British colony in 1632. The country has been independent since 1981. The population is roughly 95,000, and in recent years the islands have become a very popular tourist destination. The two lighthouses, however, seem almost unknown to tourists.

Aids to navigation in Antigua and Barbuda are maintained by the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority, an agency of the Ministry of Transportation and the Environment.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 110.

General Sources
Our World Lighthouses
Photos and information posted by Douglas Cameron.
Online List of Lights - Antigua
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Leuchttürme Mittelamerikas und der Karibik auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Sandy Island Lighthouse
Sandy Island (3?)
1939 (station established 1875). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); one long (1.5 s) white flash every 15 s. 16 m (52 ft) aluminum skeletal tower with gallery; the lantern has been removed. The lantern was removed sometime after Ted Smith's 2006 photo and before Cameron's December 2007 photo. Trabas has Arno Siering's distant view, Huelse has a historic postcard view of the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was a 16 m (52 ft) triangular wood skeletal tower. After suffering damage from several hurricanes, it was replaced by a more substantial 17 m (56 ft) wood skeletal tower in 1882. Located on a low island about 8 km (5 mi) west of the harbor of St. John's, Antigua. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ANT-001; Admiralty J5690; NGA 14768.


St. John's Light, December 2007
photo copyright Douglas Cameron; used by permission

Antigua Lighthouses
Pillar Rock
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); green flash every 4 s. Light mounted on a 1-story concrete building. Trabas has Arno Siering's photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory on the northwest coast of Antigua, about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of the St. John's waterfront. Site status unknown. ARLHS ANT-002; Admiralty J5694; NGA 14772.
* Danish Motorfyrskib IV Black Swan
1920. Decommissioned around 1970. 20.4 m (67 ft) wood lightship, now rigged as a 2-masted ship. Vessel painted black with white trim. A photo is available. This ship started life as the lightship Halskov Rev. After deactivation, she was sold and converted to a tall ship named Rana and berthed at Hadsund, Denmark. (The light tower and lantern were removed and are displayed at the Motorbadsklub in Copenhagen.) In 2005, the ship was sold again and sailed to Antigua, where it appears as a tourist attraction, a faux pirate ship named the Black Swan. The ship is available for day cruises, weddings, and private charters. When in port, it is moored on the St. John's waterfront. Vessel open to paying customers. Owner/site manager: Pirates of Antigua, Ltd.
* St. John's
Around 1905 (?). Intended as a lighthouse, but never activated. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Douglas Cameron's photo appears above, a 2008 photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Ad. Hovestadt visited the light in November 2004 and found it "in a very sorry state" with the "iron steps ... on the verge of collapse." The situation may not be much better today, but it does appear that the lighthouse was repainted. This light was apparently built as part of a project to develop a large sugar refinery near St. John's. It was intended as the rear light of a range, but it proved to be in the wrong position for that purpose, and it was never commissioned. Located on a hill several blocks from the waterfront of St. John's; the lighthouse is behind Island Motors, an auto dealership on Independence Street just south of the Queen Elizabeth Highway. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: unknown.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

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Posted December 8, 2005. Checked and revised November 23, 2013. Lighthouses: 3; lightships: 1. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.