Lighthouses of Wales

The Principality of Wales, a part of the United Kingdom, occupies a mountainous peninsula to the west of England, surrounded by water on three sides. Most of the coastline is rugged, scenic, and hazardous to navigation. The lighthouses of the country are clustered in the north, guarding the approaches to the Mersey, and in the south, guarding the approaches to the Severn. The largest number of lighthouses can be found at the northwestern corner, the Isle of Anglesey, and the southwestern corner, in Pembrokeshire.

The major coastal lighthouses are maintained by Trinity House, the English lighthouse administration. Several, including South Stack, St. Ann's Head, and Nash Point, are among the best known and most visited British lighthouses.

Cymraeg, the Welsh language, is spoken commonly in many parts of Wales, especially the north and west. The Welsh word for a lighthouse is goleudy; trywn is a cape, pen is a headland, and ynys is an island.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from Volume A of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 114.

General Sources
Trinity House
Chartered by Henry VIII in 1514, Trinity House has built and operated lighthouses in Britain for nearly 500 years.
Lighthouse Compendium
There is lots of useful information on this site by Michael Millichamp, including his Guide to English and Welsh Lights, an inventory of surviving English and Welsh lighthouses.
Online List of Lights - Wales
Photos posted by Alexander Trabas.
Ian Wright's Lighthouses
Photos by Ian Wright, including the contributed photos on this page.
Lighthouses in Wales
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Lighthouses in Wales, United Kingdom
Excellent aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Association of Lighthouse Keepers
Founded by serving and retired keepers, this lighthouse association is open to everyone.
Britische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.

Trwyn Du Light
Trwyn Du (Penmon Point) Light, Penmon, September 2009
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Jeff Buck

Lighthouses of South Wales

Newport (Casnewydd) and Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy) Lighthouses
Redcliffe Range Front
1883. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); continuous blue light. 10 m (33 ft) square cast iron skeletal tower with lantern, gallery, and a rectangular vertically slatted white daymark below the gallery. The lantern is not in use; the light is provided by eight vertical neon tubes mounted on the daymark. Tower painted black, lantern white. Trabas has a closeup photo, Steve Fareham has a photo, and Google has a good satellite view. Originally this was the rear light of a range having the Charston Rock Light as the front light. The rear light of the modern range is on a pole 320 m (1000 ft) north of the lighthouse. Located on the north bank of the Severn about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) southwest of Bulwark. Site status unknown. Operator: Gloucester . Admiralty A5536; NGA 5988.
[Charston Rock (Black Rock)]
1868. Active; focal plane 5 m (16 ft); white flash every 3 s. 7 m (23 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with a vertical black stripe. Trabas has a photo, Steve Fareham also has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island off the north shore of the Severn just east of Portskewett. Accessible only by boat; visible from a hiking trail along the river. Site and tower closed. Operator: Gloucester Harbour Trustees. ARLHS WAL-044; Admiralty A5535; NGA 5984.
* [Gold Cliff]
1924. Inactive. 9 m (29 ft) square cylindrical cast iron tower; no lantern. Robin Drayton has a fine closeup, Millichamp has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. An old and interesting minor aid to navigation. Located on a promontory about 2 km (1.2 mi) south of Whitson. Site appears to be open, tower closed. Owner: unknown. ARLHS WAL-056.
* East Usk
1893. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two flashes every 10 s, white, red, or green depending on direction. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Robin Drayton's photo is at right, Trabas has a fine photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the east side of the entrance to the River Usk about 2 km (1.2 mi) southwest of Nash. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Newport Harbour Commissioners. ARLHS WAL-005; Admiralty A5454; NGA 5904.
** West Usk
1821 (James Walker). Inactive since 1922. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery rising from the center of a round 2-story brick keeper's house. Building painted white; lantern roof is black. A good photo is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This is the first of the many lighthouses built by James Walker; its unusual design makes it an architectural landmark. Frank Sheahan and his wife Danielle bought the lighthouse in 1987 and renovated it as a bed and breakfast. In 2006, seeking to retire, the Sheahans advertised the lighthouse for sale for £1 million; a 2011 news feature found them still as the owners. Located on the west side of the entrance to the River Usk off the B4239 (Lighthouse Road) about 6 km (4 mi) south of Newport. Site open, lighthouse open to paying guests. Owner/site manager: West Usk Lighthouse. ARLHS WAL-032.

East Usk Light, Nash, July 2007
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Robin Drayton

Cardiff (Caerdydd) Lighthouses
**** Trinity House Lightship 14 Goleulong 2000 (Helwick)
1953. Decommissioned 1991. 36.3 m (119 ft) steel lightship; hexagonal skeletal light tower with lantern and gallery amidships. Ship painted red; lantern dome painted white. Iris Klempau has a page for the ship, Eirian Evans has a 2008 photo, and Google has an aerial view. First assigned to the Kentish Knock station, the ship served many stations over its career, ending as the Helwick off the Gower coast from 1984 through 1989. Since 1993 the ship has been a Christian fellowship center. Moored near the Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre, at Harbour Drive and Bute Street, in Cardiff Bay. Site open, ship open for tours and worship daily. Owner/site manager: Goleulong Lightship 2000. ARLHS WAL-059.
Monkstone
1839 (unlit until 1925). Active; focal plane about 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 5 s. 23 m (75 ft) tower: the original 14 m (45 ft) stone tower with gallery, topped by a 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical red fiberglass tower with its own small lantern and gallery. The stone tower is strengthened by vertical and horizontal wrought iron bands, which are painted red. Photographer's Resource has a page with a closeup, Lighthouse Explorer has Tony Denton's closeup photo, and Tony Anderton has a sunset photo. The lighthouse is built on an underwater rock. A light on a cast iron skeletal tower was mounted on the stone base in 1925, and the fiberglass section replaced the cast iron section in 1993. Located about 5 km (3 mi) east northeast of Lavernock Point and 8 km (5 mi) south of Cardiff. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-043; Admiralty A5428; NGA 5864.
Flat Holm (Flatholm, Ynys Echni)
1737 (William Crispe and Benjamin Lund; substantially altered in 1820). Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); three flashes, white or red depending on direction, every 10 s. 30 m (99 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-story keeper's house. 1-story fog signal building with two giant fog horns. Hywel Williams's photo is at right, Wikimedia has several photos, Trabas has a distant view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Trinity House rebuilt the privately-built lighthouse after leasing it in 1819; essentially a new tower was wrapped around the old one. The tower was altered further in 1867 to support a first-order lantern. The foghorn (1908), deactivated in 1988, has been restored to working condition and is sounded on special occasions. Flat Holm is a small island in the middle of the entrance to the Severn estuary from the Bristol Channel. The island is a historical and natural reserve. The Flat Holm Project is restoring the buildings and the ecosystem of the island; the Flat Holm Society has been formed to support the project. Tours of the island depart from Barry on most days during the warmer months. Located on the south side of the island. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-006; Admiralty A5426; NGA 5860.
Flatholm Light
Flat Holm Light, Cardiff, September 2009
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Hywel Williams

Vale of Glamorgan (Bro Morgannwg) Lighthouses
* Barry (Y Barri) Docks West Breakwater
1890. Active; focal plane 12 m (40 ft); one quick white flash every 2.5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern dome painted red. Trabas has a photo, another good photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater at Barry, about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Cardiff. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Port of Barry. ARLHS WAL-034; Admiralty A5412; NGA 5836.
* Nash Point (High)
1832 (James Walker). Active; focal plane 56 m (154 ft); two white or red flashes, depending on direction, separated by 3.7 s, every 15 s. 37 m (122 ft) round stone tower with gallery attached to 1-story keeper's house. 1-story masonry fog signal building (inactive) topped by a large double diaphone horn. Entire station painted white. The two keeper's houses are available for vacation rental. Peter Wasp's photo is at right, Trabas has a good photo, a fine closeup is available, Wikimedia has many photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse's postcard view shows the lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. Nash Point marks the entrance to the narrower part of the Bristol Channel, leading to the major ports of Cardiff and Bristol. The lighthouses were built after the paddlewheel steamer Frolic wrecked nearby, in December 1830, with heavy loss of life. Originally this light and the low light formed a range for ships entering Bristol Channel. Located about 5 km (3 mi) west of Llanwit Major, near St. Donat's; Accessible by road or by walking the coastal path from St. Donat's. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-017; Admiralty A5406; NGA 5816.
* Nash Point Low
1832 (James Walker). Inactive since the early 1900s. 20 m (67 ft) round stone tower with gallery attached to 1-story keeper's house. Lantern removed. Entire station painted white. The two keeper's houses are available for vacation rental. Peter Wasp has a good photo, an excellent closeup and a view showing the keeper's houses are available, Huelse has a historic postcard view showing the lantern, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 5 km (3 mi) west of Llanwit Major, near St. Donat's. Accessible by road or by walking the coastal path from St. Donat's. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-037.
Nash Point High Light
Nash Point High Light, St. Donat's, October 2006
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Peter Wasp

Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr) Lighthouse
* Porthcawl Breakwater
1860. Active; focal plane 10 m (34 ft); continuous light, white over the entrance channel and red or green to the sides. 9 m (30 ft) hexagonal cast iron tower with domed lantern, painted white with a black band around the base. Ben Whitmore's photo is at right, Trabas has a good photo, a September 2006 closeup is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Long powered by gas, this little lighthouse was not converted to electric power until 1997. Located at the end of the breakwater on Porthcawl Point in Porthcawl, at the eastern entrance to Swansea Bay. Accessible by walking the breakwater. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Bridgend County Borough Council. ARLHS WAL-036; Admiralty A5402; NGA 5812.

Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot) Lighthouses
Port Talbot (Aberafan) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); red light, 5 s on, 1 s off. 30 m (98 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery. The light is shown through the center of a diamond-shaped slatted daymark. Lighthouse and daymark painted a dull orange. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The front light is shown from a similar but much smaller tower. Located in an industrial zone on the east side of Port Talbot, on the south side of the mouth of the River Afan. Site and tower closed, although there should be a good view from the end of Riverside Drive. Admiralty A5391.1; NGA 5804.
Porthcawl Lighthouse
Porthcawl Breakwater Light, May 2007
photo copyright Ben Whitmore; used by permission
Trinity House Lightship 72 Juno
1903 (John Crown and Sons, Sunderland). Decommissioned 1973. 35.4 m (116 ft) steel lightship with light tower, lantern and gallery. Phil Jones has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The ship served various stations, but it is best known for its service in the D-Day invasion of 6 June 1944, when it marked a mine-cleared channel for the invasion armada. At that time it carried the name Juno, which was the code name of one of the major D-Day beaches. After deactivation, the ship was sold to the Steel Supply Company for scrap. However, the compnay decided not to scrap the vessel. It was maintained for a time as an office; later a plan to convert it to use as a night club failed. The ship is now derelict and detriorating. Located on the west bank of the River Neath below Neath, about 15 km (9 mi) north of Port Talbot. Site and vessel closed. Owner/site manager: Sims Metal Management.

Swansea (Abertawe) Lighthouses
*** Trinity House Lightship 91 Helwick
1937. Decommissioned 1977. 31.7 m (104 ft) steel lightship, painted red; hexagonal skeletal light tower with lantern and gallery amidships. Iris Klempau has a page for the ship, with numerous photos, a fine September 2007 photo is available, Slawomir Purzycki has a photo, and Google has a good satellite view. The ship served most of its career on the Humber station, where it was damaged twice in collisions with other vessels. It was moved to the Helwick station in 1971. When it was decommissioned in 1977, it was donated to the city of Swansea. Moored at the Victoria Quay on the waterfront in Swansea. Site open, vessel open for tours daily in June, July, and August. Owner/site manager: Swansea Museum. ARLHS WAL-052.
* Mumbles
1794 (William Jernegan). Active; focal plane 35 m (114 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2.2 s, every 20 s. 17 m (56 ft) round two-stage octagonal cylindrical brick tower with lantern and double gallery, painted white; twin 300 mm lenses. 1st order Fresnel lens on display at the Swansea Museum. Twin 2-story keeper's houses. Scott Dexter's photo is at right, Trabas has a photo, Mick Lobb has a photo, a good view from the sea is available, Wikimedia has several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Built by the Swansea Harbour Board, the lighthouse was designed in two stages so that coal fires could be displayed at two levels. Trinity House took control of the light from the British Transport Docks Board in 1975. The lighthouse is built on a small island which is accessible, with caution, at low tide. Located just off Mumbles Head, marking the entrance to Swansea Bay. Parking provided at the end of the A4067 highway about 12 km (7.5 mi) south of Swansea. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-016; Admiralty A5358; NGA 5756.
Mumbles Light
Mumbles Light, Swansea, March 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Scott Dexter
Whiteford (Whitford) Point (2)
1865 (station established 1854). Inactive since 1926. 13.5 m (44 ft) round tapered cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. That's what it was originally, but after being abandoned more than half its life the lighthouse is near collapse. This is one of the UK's most endangered lighthouses. Dave Dawson's photo is at right, Millichamp has a photo (second row, center photo), Angus MacDonald has posted a closeup photo, Wikimedia has several photos, and Google has a satellite view. In 2000, the lighthouse was offered for sale for £1. An agreement is said to have been reached to restore the tower, but apparently this agreement collapsed. The tower is once again for sale for £1, but buyers must prove they have £200,000 available for restoration. Chris Tagg visited the site in March 2005 and reports the lighthouse "strikes a sorry figure, although does not look in danger of falling down," since the cast iron is lined with brick or stone. Located on Whitford Point, on the south side of the Loughor Estuary opposite Burry Port. Walking to this site requires a long hike across the Whiteford Sands, and Tagg says the lighthouse is "surrounded by treacherous and deadly currents and shifting sands." Owner/site manager: Millennium Coastal Park. ARLHS WAL-033.

Carmarthenshire (Sir Gâr) Lighthouse
* Burry Port (Porth Tywyn)
1842. Active; focal plane 7 m (24 ft); white flash every 5 s. 6 m (19 ft) broad round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white with black trim, lantern red. Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has several photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was restored in 1995-96 by Llanelli Borough with the support of the Burry Port Yacht Club. Located on the breakwater at the harbor entrance at Burry Port on the north side of the Loughor Estuary. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Carmarthenshire County Council. ARLHS WAL-035; Admiralty A5356; NGA 5748.
Whiteford Point Light
Whiteford Point Light, Llanelli, March 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Dave Dawson

Southern Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro) Lighthouses
* Saundersfoot South Pier
1848. Active; focal plane 6.5 m (21 ft); red flash every 5 s. 5 m (17 ft) round cylindrical rubblestone tower with domed roof. Formerly shone through a window, the light is now mounted atop the dome. Trabas has a photo, Peter Lawson has another closeup photo , and Google has a satellite view. Located on the pierhead in Saundersfoot. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Saundersfoot Harbour Commission. ARLHS WAL-048; Admiralty A5342; NGA 5744.
* Caldey Island (Ynys Byr)
1829 (Joseph Nelson). Active; focal plane 65 m (314 ft); three flashes, white or red depending on direction, every 20 s. 16 m (52 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery attached to two 2-story keeper's houses. Entire structure painted white. A photo is at right, Tom Patterson has a good photo, another closeup photo of the lighthouse is available, Trabas has posted an excellent photo taken from a John Hinde postcard, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The keeper's houses are presumably private residences. Caldey Island, located south of Tenby at the western entrance to Carmarthen Bay, was the site of a Benedictine monastery in medieval times and is home to a Cistercian monastery today. It is readily accessible by passenger ferries from Tenby. Located at the south point of the island. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-004; Admiralty A5328; NGA 5732.
* Little Castle Head (Great Castle Head Range Rear (2))
Date unknown (station established 1870). Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white light, 6 s on, 2 s off. 26 m (85 ft) unpainted round tapered concrete tower with gallery. The tower also carries a rectangular slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Robin Lucas has a closeup photo, Trabas has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. The original rear light was on a 13 m (43 ft) stone tower. According to Millichamp, the old rear tower was truncated to avoid confusion with the new rear light. It seems to have been removed; it can't be found on satellite images. Located on a promontory 890 m (0.5 mi) northeast of the front light and about 5 km (3 mi) west of Milford Haven. Site probably open, tower closed. Operator: Milford Haven Port Authority. ARLHS WAL-050; Admiralty A5287.1; NGA 5636.
* Great Castle Head (Range Front)
1870 (James Douglass). Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); continuous light: white, red, or green depending on direction, shown to the south and southeast. There is also a white range light, occulting once every 4 s, shown to the southwest. 5 m (17 ft) square stone tower without lantern, attached to a 1-story masonry keeper's house. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the north side of Milford Haven, about 6 km (4 mi) west of the port of the same name. Accessible along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Milford Haven Port Authority. ARLHS WAL-007; Admiralty A5287; NGA 5632.
Caldey Island Light
Caldey Island Light, Saundersfoot, April 2010
Geograph Creative Commons photo by A. Holmes
* Watwick Point (Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 80 m (262 ft); continuous white light. 50 m (164 ft) unpainted round tapered concrete tower with gallery. The tower also carries a rectangular slatted daymark painted black with a white vertical stripe on the range line. Trabas has a photo, Kevin Trahar has another photo, and Google has a satellite view. This plain modern tower is the tallest lighthouse in the U.K. It is the common rear light for two Milford Haven entrance ranges. Located on a promontory on the north side of Milford Haven, about 3.5 km (2 mi) northeast of St. Ann's Head. Accessible along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Milford Haven Port Authority. ARLHS WAL-042; Admiralty A5286.3; NGA 5620.
* West Blockhouse Point (Watwick Point Range Front)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); continuous white light. 13.5 m (44 ft) unpainted concrete post adjacent to a 1-story equipment building. The post carries a rectangular slatted daymark painted black with a white vertical stripe. The light is flanked on either side by two similar posts carrying continuous red lights. A closeup photo and a second photo are available, Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland 926 m (0.58 mi) southwest of the rear light. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Milford Haven Port Authority. Admiralty A5286; NGA 5616.
** St. Ann's Head High
1714. Inactive since 1910. 23 m (75 ft) round tapered masonry tower attached to 1-story keeper's houses. The lantern was removed early in World War II and replaced by a rectangular observation room used to watch for German submarines. The entire structure was formerly painted white, but sometime in 2005-06 the tower was painted black; the observation room continues to be white. Robin Lucas has a photo, Ruth Sharville has a second photo, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a historic postcard view showing the original appearance of the lighthouse. The light station is now used for vacation accommodations. There are historical exhibits in the tower, but only paying guests have access to the observation room at the top. As of late 2006, the lighthouse was for sale for £1.25 million (reduced by 2012 to £975,000). Located at the point of St. Ann's Head in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Accessible by road. Site and lower portion of tower open, entire tower open to guests. Owner/site manager: Old Lighthouse Holiday Complex. ARLHS WAL-051.
* St. Ann's Head (Low) (2)
1841 (station established 1714). Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); flash every 5 s, white or red depending on direction. 13 m (42 ft) octagonal cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery; an attached 1970s building was formerly used for control of nearby lighthouses but is now used to support helicopter operations. 1st order Fresnel beehive lens in use. Fog horn (2 blasts every 60 s) located 110 m (120 yd) southwest. Five keeper's houses in a range nearby are currently unused. A photo is at right, Lighthouse Explorer has a good photo by John Mobbs, another good photo is available, Trabas has a great closeup by Ian Wright, Wikimedia has distant views, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Entire structure painted white. A privately built lighthouse was in operation here in the 1660s, but the early history of the station is somewhat obscure. Located at the point of St. Ann's Head in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, marking the entrance to Milford Haven. Accessible by road. Site and tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-027; Admiralty A5284; NGA 5608.
Middle Channel Rocks
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); three green flashes every 7 s. 19 m (62 ft) round pillar supporting a round aluminum lantern structure. Trabas has a photo. Located on a reef about 1.4 km (0.9 mi) south southeast of St. Ann's Head. Accessible only by boat, but easy to see from the St. Ann's Head lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS WAL-054; Admiralty A5285; NGA 5612.
St. Ann's Head Low Light
St. Ann's Head Low Light, Milford Haven, May 2007
Geograph Creative Commons photo by David Purchase

Western and Northern Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro) Lighthouses
Skokholm (Ynys Scogholm)
1916. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); flash every 10 s, white or red depending on direction. 18 m (59 ft) octagonal cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery rising from a 2-story keeper's house. Entire structure painted white. Bob Jones's photo is at right, D.J. Sheret has a great closeup photo, Trabas has a distant view by Ian Wright, Wikimedia has several distant views, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. In January 2010, Trinity House proposed that this light be deactivated. Skokholm Island is an uninhabited 105 ha (240 acre) island at the southwestern tip of Wales. Famous for its seabirds, it has Britain's oldest bird observatory. Overnight accommodations are available at the observatory. In August 2011, the wildlife trust that owns most of the island announced plans to raise £250,000 to purchase the light station property from Trinity House and restore it for overnight accommodations. The purchase took place in May 2012. Located at the southwestern point of the island, about 8 km (5 mi) west northwest of St. Ann's Head. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. Site manager: Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. ARLHS WAL-022; Admiralty A5282; NGA 5604.
Smalls (2)
1861 (James Douglass). Station established 1776. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); three white flashes evry 15 s, day and night. A continuous red light is shown to the east at a focal plane of 33 m (108 ft). 43 m (141 ft) round tapered stone tower with lantern and gallery, incorporating keeper's quarters, and a helipad mounted above the lantern. Tower painted white, lantern red. Fog horn (2 blasts every 60 s). A closeup photo is available, and Wikimedia has an article on the history of the light station. Patterned after the famous towers at Bishop Rock and Eddystone, this was Douglass's first great waveswept tower. The original lighthouse, designed by Henry Whiteside, was an innovative cottage lighthouse on piles. Located on a tiny island in the southern entrance to St. George's Channel, about 35 km (22 mi) west of St. Ann's Head. Accessible only by helicopter. Site and tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-023; Admiralty A5278; NGA 5600.
Skokholm Light
Skokholm Light, Milford Haven, May 2010
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Bob Jones
South Bishop (Emsger)
1839 (James Walker). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-story keeper's house. Entire light station painted white. Fog horn (3 blasts every 45 s). Trabas has a view from the sea, Janice Lane has a distant view, Mick Garrett has a similar view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a tiny island about 4.8 mi (8 km) southwest of St. David's Head, marking the northern entrance to St. Bride's Bay. Accessible only by helicopter. Site and tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-024; Admiralty A5276; NGA 5596.
* Strumble Head (Pen Strwmbl)
1908. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2.2 s, every 15 s. 17 m (55 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. 1st order Fresnel lens in use. Entire light station painted white. A photo is at right, John Hayward has an excellent photo, Ian Knox has a good photo, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has many distant views, Lighthouse Explorer has a historic postcard view, Huelse has a second postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This station is perched on Ynys Meicel (Little Mouse Island), a rocky islet connected to the mainland by a footbridge. The site is accessible by a popular hiking trail that follows the coastline, offering spectacular views across St. George's Channel toward Ireland. Located just off a steep headland about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Fishguard. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be seen from the mainland end of the footbridge. Operator: Trinity House. Site manager: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. ARLHS WAL-029; Admiralty A5274; NGA 5592.
Strumble Head Light
Strumble Head Light, Fishguard, April 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by UncleBucko
* Fishguard (Abergwaun) East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white and mounted atop a robust 2-story round concrete tower at the end of the pier. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater in Goodwick, on the north side of Fishguard Harbour; accessible by walking the breakwater. There should be good views from Stena Line ferries connecting Fishguard with Rosslare in southeastern Ireland. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS WAL-045; Admiralty A5264; NGA 5576.
* Fishguard (Abergwaun) North Breakwater
1905. Active; focal plane 18 m (60 ft); green flash every 4.5 s. 14 m (46 ft) round two-stage brick tower with lantern and double gallery. The upper half of the tower is round and painted white; the octagonal lower half is unpainted dark stone. Millichamp has a photo (next to last row of photos), a 2007 photo is available, Trabas has an excellent closeup, and Google has a satellite view. The nearby Strumble Head Light is so much better known, this handsome tower doesn't get the attention it deserves. Located at the end of the breakwater in Goodwick, on the north side of Fishguard Harbour; accessible by walking the breakwater. There should be good views from Stena Line ferries connecting Fishguard with Rosslare in southeastern Ireland. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Stena Line. ARLHS WAL-039; Admiralty A5262; NGA 5572.

Cardiganshire (Ceredigion) Lighthouses
* [New Quay (Cei Newydd) (2)]
1937 (station established 1839). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); flash every 3 s, white or green depending on direction. 5 m (17 ft) wood post light, mounted on a conical stone base. The post is unpainted. Trabas has a photo, Lee Carey has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. This modest light replaces a historic stone lighthouse that was swept away during a storm in February 1937. Located at the end of the breakwater in New Quay. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS WAL-058; Admiralty A5258; NGA 5568.
* [Aberystwyth South Breakwater]
Date unknown (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two flashes every 10 s, white or green depending on direction. 7 m (23 ft) round post, painted with green and white horizontal bands. Trabas has a photo, Steve Fareham has a photo, Henry Patton has a 2011 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south breakwater of Aberystwyth. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty A5254; NGA 5560.

Lighthouses of North Wales

Gwynedd (Caernarfonshire) Lighthouses
St. Tudwal's
1877. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); flash every 15 s, white or red depending on direction. 11 m (35 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Trabas has a photo, David Medcalf has a very distant view, and Google has a satellite view. The 1-story keeper's house was sold as a private residence in 1935; the entire island on which the lighthouse stands is now privately owned. Located on St. Tudwal's Island West, at the western entrance to Tremadoc Bay about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of Abersoch. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. Site manager: private. ARLHS WAL-028; Admiralty A5238; NGA 5552.
Bardsey (Ynys Enlli)
1821 (Daniel Alexander and Joseph Nelson). Active; focal plane 39 m (129 ft); five white flashes every 15 s. 30 m (98 ft) square masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Three 1-story keeper's houses and other buildings. Alan Fryer's closeup photo is at right, a distant view of the site is available, Trabas has Ian Wright's view from the sea, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse marks the northern entrance to Cardigan Bay. Bardsey Island, 3 km (2 mi) off the end of the Llŷn (Lleyn) Peninsula, is a national nature reserve accessible by passenger ferry from Porth Meudwy; several cottages on the island are available for overnight accommodations. The lighthouse marks the northern entrance to Cardigan Bay. Located at Pen Diban, the southern end of the island. Accessible by hiking trail, but day trippers must walk the 3 km (2 mi) length of the island to reach the light station. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. Site manager: Bardsey Island Trust. ARLHS WAL-001; Admiralty A5234; NGA 5548.
Bardsey Light
Bardsey Light, Bardsey Island, September 2003
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Alan Fryer

Western and Southern Anglesey (Ynys Môn) Lighthouses
* Llanddwyn Island (2) (Twr Mawr)
1845. Inactive since 1975. 11 m (36 ft) round old-style stone tower attached to a keeper's house; photos appear to show a small lantern. Lighthouse painted white. Philip Higgins has a fine photo, Wikimedia has photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The nearby pilot house is a museum of local maritime history. In 2004, the light station the tower was repainted with its lower half red for its appearance in the movie Half Light, starring Demi Moore. Llanddwyn Island--actually a peninsula except at the highest tides--is on the south shore of Anglesey about 5 km (3 mi) west of the southern entrance to Menai Strait. Site of the ruined church of St. Dwynwen and now part of a national nature reserve, the island is accessible by popular hiking trails. Located at the southern tip of the peninsula, a short distance west of the active beacon. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Anglesey government (?). Site manager: Llanddwyn Island National Nature Reserve. ARLHS WAL-057; Admiralty A5210.1.
* Llanddwyn Island (1) (Twr Bach, Ynys Llanddwyn)
Early 1800s daybeacon, first lit in 1975. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); flash every 2.5 s, white or red depending on direction. 5 m (17 ft) round conical stone tower, painted white. Trabas has a fine closeup by Ian Wright, another closeup photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. A directional light was placed on this daybeacon in 1975, when the 1845 Twr Mawr lighthouse was deactivated. Located at the southern tip of the peninsula. Site open, tower closed. Operator: unknown. Site manager: Llanddwyn Island National Nature Reserve. ARLHS WAL-046; Admiralty A5210; NGA 5528.
**** South Stack (Ynys Lawd)
1809 (Daniel Alexander). Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); quick white flash every 10 s. 28 m (92 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-story keeper's quarters and service building. Entire structure painted white. Fog horn (one 3 s blast every 30 s). Neil Wilkie's photo is at right, Trabas has a great photo, Brian Mott also has a good photo, Wikimedia has many photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The station is now a Trinity House Visitor Centre, the only one in Wales or western England north of Cornwall. South Stack is a steep-sided island off the western tip of Anglesey. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel crossed by a footbridge since 1828; the present bridge, built in 1997, is the third. Visitors cross the footbridge after descending 400 steps from the parking area, and they must climb those steps on their return. Despite the strenuous climb, this is a well-visited lighthouse, one of the best known in Britain. Located about 5 km (3 mi) west of Holyhead. Site open, visitor center open and tower open to guided tours (limited to 12 persons per tour, tickets required) daily early April through September (admission fee). Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-025; Admiralty A5204; NGA 5520.
* Holyhead (Caergybi) Breakwater
1873. Active (privately maintained); focal plane 21 m (70 ft); three green flashes every 10 s. 19 m (63 ft) square stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with a single broad black horizontal band. Trabas has a fine closeup photo, Eric Jones has a 2008 closeup, Mike Underwood has a page on the history of the lighthouse, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. In 2004 a plan was launched to restore the railway along the breakwater to provide transportation to the lighthouse. The Holyhead Breakwater Railway Company was organized to carry out this work. By summer 2006 the railroad was in operation, and the railway company was negotiating with Stena Lines (the harbor manager) and the Holyhead Maritime Museum to arrange for restoring the lighthouse and opening it to visitors. Colin Chant's August 2006 photo shows restoration work on the lantern in progress, but Edward Osmotherley's August 2009 photo does not show any evidence of general restoration. Located at the end of the long Holyhead Breakwater, the longest in the U.K. at 3 km (9875 ft). Accessible in good weather by walking the breakwater. There's a good views from ferries between Holyhead and Dublin, Ireland. Site open, train transportation available daily in the summer season and on weekends the rest of the year, tower closed. Operator: Stena Line. ARLHS WAL-011; Admiralty A5174; NGA 5476.
South Stack Light
South Stack Light, Holyhead, May 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Neil Wilkie
* Holyhead (Caergybi) Mail Pier (Admiralty Pier, Salt Island) (3)
1821 (John Rennie). Inactive for many years. 15 m (49 ft) round old-style stone tower with lantern and gallery. The Lighthouse Explorer photo shows two signal lights, one above the other, on a mast mounted on the gallery, but in a September 2005 email James Doutch reported that these lights have been removed. Stephen Elwyn Roddick has a photo, C.W. Bash has a photo taken from the harbor, and Google has a satellite view. This is one of a pair of lighthouses designed by John Rennie to guide packets boats sailing beween Holyhead and Howth Harbour, near Dublin (see Eastern Ireland for the twin lighthouse). This historic lighthouse, one of the oldest in Wales, does not get the attention it deserves. It is believed that there were two earlier lights at this location, but details of the history are not available. Located at the end of the pier at Salt Island, marking the north side of the entrance to the Old Harbour in downtown Holyhead. There's a good views from ferries between Holyhead and Dublin, Ireland. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Stena Line. ARLHS WAL-053.

Northern Anglesey (Ynys Môn) Lighthouses
The Skerries (Ynys Y Moelrhoniaid)
1717 (William Trench). Active; focal plane 36 m (119 ft); two white flashes every 10 s, day and night; also a continuous red light shown over the Coal Rock reef (see next entry). 23 m (75 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story keeper's house. Tower painted white with a single broad red horizontal band; the red band is continued around the top of the keeper's house so that from a distance a red stripe appears around the whole complex. Stephen Roddick's photo is at right, Lighthouse Explorer has a photo by Tony Denton, C.W. Bash has a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Privately built; in fact, this was the last private lighthouse in Britain when it was finally bought by Trinity House in 1841. This light station marks the extreme northwestern tip of Wales, making it one of the most important lights of the Irish Sea. In 2004, Trinity House restored the keeper's house and received an award for the historic preservation. Located on a small rocky island about 3 km (2 mi) northwest of Carmel Head, Anglesey. Accessible only by boat in dangerous seas. Distantly visible from Carmel Head, which can be reached by hiking the Anglesey Coastal Path. Site and tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-030; Admiralty A5168; NGA 5472.
* [Carmel Head Beacons]
1860s. Daybeacons, never lit. Two 9 m (30 ft) triangular stone beacons. The seaward side of the beacons was previously painted white, although very little paint remains. Ian Warburton has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. These beacons line up with a conical stone beacon on the islet of West Mouse; the line points to Coal Rock, a dangerous reef lying beyond West Mouse. Located at the eastern point of Carmel Head, southeast of the Skerries lighthouse (next entry). Site open.
The Skerries Light
The Skerries Light, Llanfairynghornwy, July 2005
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Stephen Elwyn Roddick
* Amlwch Old Harbour
1817. Inactive. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) square stone tower attached to a 1-story stone building; square lantern room with slate roof. Llion Hughes has a good 2006 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Although Millichamp says it was built in 1853, others sources including Findlay's 1879 list say the building is the 1817 original. More information on its history is needed. Located at the end of the short pier enclosing the old harbor at Amlwch Port in northwestern Anglesey. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Isle of Anglesey Council. ARLHS WAL-055.
* Point Lynas (2)
1835 (Jesse Hartley; station established 1779). Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); white light, 8 s on, 2 s off. Lantern, at ground level, attached to the front of an 11 m (36 ft) square cylindrical castellated stone tower; the tower, keeper's house, and other structures are enclosed by a high stone wall. In this unusual design, the tower has an observation window above the lantern. 1st order Fresnel lens in use. Fog horn (blast every 45 s). Trabas has a fine closeup, Steve Fareham has a 2007 photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was 300 m to the south. Like Great Orme, the light station was built by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board and transferred to Trinity House in 1973. In 2000, Trinity House sold the station to Robin and Iona Beckmann, who spent the next decade restoring the buildings. In 2010, the Beckmanns placed the property for sale for £1.5 million; in 2014 it was still for sale with the price reduced to £1.375 million. Located on Point Lynas, about 1 km (0.6 mi) north of Llaneilian. Probably accessible by road; if not, it's a short walk from parking in Llaneilian. Site and tower closed (private property), but the lighthouse can be seen from nearby. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-019; Admiralty A5160; NGA 5464.
* Trwyn Du (Penmon Point)
1838 (James Walker). Active; focal plane 19 m (63 ft); white flash every 5 s. 29 m (62 ft) round cylindrical castellated stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands; the lantern is white. Fog bell (stroke every 30 s). Jeff Buck's photo is at the top of this page, Lighthouse Explorer has a photo by Tony Denton, Jeff Buck has a great 2009 closeup, there's a 2008 photo showing waves breaking against the tower, Wikimedia has many photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse stands at the northeastern corner of the Isle of Anglesey marking the northern entrance to Menai Strait, which separates the island from the Welsh mainland. Located just off the point of Trwyn Penmon about 1200 m (3/4 mi) northeast of Penmon. It is possible to walk to the lighthouse at low tide, although the rough shingle beaches are rather difficult walking. Also visible from cruises out of Beaumaris. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS WAL-031; Admiralty A5140; NGA 5420.

Conwy Lighthouse
** Great Orme Head (Llandudno)
1862 (G. Lyster). Inactive since 1985. 11 m (37 ft) lantern attached to a 2-story castellated keeper's house. The original Fresnel lens is on display nearby at the Great Orme Summit Visitor Centre. Eric Jones has a 2008 photo from the rear of the building, and Google has a satellite view. Great Orme Head is a huge limestone promontory jutting into the Irish Sea north of Llandudno. This remarkable lighthouse is perched high on a vertical cliff at the northern end of the promontory. Built by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, it was transferred to Trinity House in 1973 and deactivated 12 years later. It then became a bed and breakfast inn; the lantern room is now a sitting room with a spectacular view of the sea. Located on Marine Drive (a toll road) about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Llandudno. Site open, tower open to paying guests. Owner/site manager: The Lighthouse. ARLHS WAL-008; ex-Admiralty A5134.

Flintshire (Sir y Fflint) Lighthouse
* Point of Ayr (Talacre)
1776 (H. Turner). Inactive since 1883. 18 m (58 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted black, lantern dome red. Lukasz Lukomski's photo is at right, another good photo is available, Eugene Everson has a 2008 photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse, built to mark the entrance to the Dee estuary, was replaced by a lightship in 1883. Though long abandoned, this lighthouse has been maintained in rather good condition by its owner, James McAllister, who bought it at auction in 1983. In November 2011, McAllister offered the lighthouse for sale for £100,000. The lighthouse is surrounded by water at high tide, but it can be reached easily across a broad, flat beach when the tide is low. The surrounding land is a nature preserve, the Gronant and Talacre Dunes SSSI. Located on the beach about 1 km (0.6 mi) west of Point of Ayre. Accessible by walking about 800 m (0.5 mi) from Talacre, a short distance off the A548 coastal highway. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS WAL-018.
Point of Ayr Light
Point of Ayr Light, Talacre, August 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Lukasz Lukomski

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

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Adjoining pages: North: Isle of Man | Northeast: Northwestern England | Southeast: Western England

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Posted November 15, 2004. Checked and revised July 21, 2013. Lighthouses: 41, lightships: 3. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.