Lighthouses of Southwest England (Devon and Cornwall)

This page lists lighthouses of the southwestern peninsula of England, including the counties of Devon and Cornwall. The southern coast of the peninsula faces the English Channel, while the north coast faces the Irish Sea and Bristol Channel. This region includes many of the most famous English lighthouses.

The British system of lighthouse administration is decentralized, with the major towers under the management of Trinity House (a corporation chartered by the Crown) and smaller towers generally under the control of local port authorities. This system has generally assisted lighthouse preservation, and so has the British custom of building very sturdy stone lighthouses at most of the stations. Most of the onshore lighthouses are accessible to visitors, and several of them are major tourist attractions.

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 as a charitable organization, Trinity House has built and operated lighthouses in Britain since 1609.
Photographers Resource - Lighthouses
A comprehensive guide to British lighthouses, with multiple photos and historical notes for many of the light stations.
Online List of Lights - England
Photos posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in England
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
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.
Lighthouses in England
Photos available from Wikimedia; many of these photos were first posted on Geograph.org.uk.
Lighthouses in Cornwall, England
Information on nine famous lighthouses posted by the tourist development board Cornwall Calling.
The History of Devon's Lighthouses
This BBC story by Jemima Laing links to a gallery of a dozen fine photos of Devon lighthouses.
Britische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Association of Lighthouse Keepers
Founded by serving and retired keepers, this lighthouse association is open to everyone.

Godrevy Island Light
Godrevy Island Light, Cornwall, August 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Steven Turner

Devon South Coast Lighthouses

Teignbridge District Lighthouses
* Teignmouth (The Den)
1845. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); continuous red light. 6 m (20 ft) round limestone tower with lantern. The tower is unpainted; the lantern is blue plastic or fiberglass. Trabas has a closeup, Chris Allen has a 2011 photo, Brian Sexton has a good photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse also functions as the front light of a range; the rear light is mounted on a tall black mast in front of the Lynton Hotel. This historic lighthouse was built by the Teignmouth Harbour Commission and has remained under their control ever since. Devon Heritage has a brief article describing its construction. Located on the beachfront at Den Point in Teignmouth. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Teignmouth . ARLHS ENG-153; Admiralty A0262; NGA 0392.
* [Phillip Lucette Beacon]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 4 m (13 ft); red light, occulting once every 6 s. 4 m (13 ft) stone column. Trabas has a photo, Lighthouse Explorer has Tony Denton's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Not a lighthouse, but obviously a venerable beacon. Located on a submerged training wall (breakwater) on the south side of the entrance to the Teign, off Marine Parade in Shaldon. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Teignmouth Harbour Commission. Admiralty A0263; NGA 0400.

Torbay Lighthouses
* Brixham Breakwater (2)
1916 (station established 1878). Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); red light, occulting for 3 s every 15 s. Approx. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Trabas has a good closeup, Lewis Clarke has a 2010 closeup, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view across the harbor. The present lighthouse was built as part of a project to extend the breakwater. It was one of the last onshore English lighthouses to be electrified, in 1984. Located at the end of the breakwater in Brixham; accessible by walking the breakwater. Operator: Tor Bay Harbour. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ENG-016; Admiralty A0246; NGA 0348.
* Berry Head
1906. Active; focal plane 58 m (191 ft); two white flashes, separated by 2.5 s, every 15 s. 4.5 m (15 ft) round cylindrical lantern attached to a 1-story square equipment building. Buildings painted white. Coast Guard and signal stations are nearby. A photo by Robin Lucas is at right, Photographer's Resource has a fine page with many photos, Trabas has an excellent closeup by Klaus Kern, Gordon McKinlay also has a good closeup, and Marinas.com has aerial photos. The light station actually faces northeast rather than south, as can be seen in a Google satellite view. In Huelse's historic postcard view, the light is flanked by acetylene tanks that formerly supplied fuel for the light. Celebrated as England's smallest lighthouse (it looks more like 3 m (10 ft) in photos), this is nonetheless considered a major light. Originally, the rotating light was powered by weights that descended into an underground shaft 45 m (148 ft) long. Located at the end of Gillard Road in Brixham, marking the south entrance to Tor Bay. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-007; Admiralty A0244; NGA 0344.

Berry Head Light, Brixham, May 2005
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Robin Lucas

South Hams District (Dartmouth Area) Lighthouses
* [Kingswear Daymark]
1864. Inactive daybeacon. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal pyramidal hollow granite tower with a gracefully arched base, open underneath. A nice 2009 photo is available, Wendy Emlyn has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. This unusual tower is well maintained as a daybeacon and as a historical monument. Located at an elevation of about 145 m (475 ft) and about 700 m (0.44 mi) from the coast on the east side of the entrance to the Dart estuary. Accessible by road. Site open, and visitors can walk under the tower. Owner/site manager: Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority.
* Kingswear (2)
1981 (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); directional light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off; white light is shown southwestward over the clear channel, green to the right and red to the left. 4 m (13 ft) round cylindrical tower with a conical lantern mounted atop a large rock on the shore; the lights are shown through a rectangular window in the lantern. Trabas has a closeup, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, an 11 m (36 ft) hexagonal stone tower atop the cliff, was demolished in 1980 because it had become unsafe. Millichamp has a photo (on the left of the page), and a Google satellite view shows the foundation of the old lighthouse beside Beacon Road. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Dart estuary at Kingswear, southeast of Dartmouth. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority. ARLHS ENG-311; Admiralty A0236; NGA 0328.
* Dartmouth Castle
1856. Inactive since at least 1886 (since 1864, according to Millichamp). Approx. 15 m (50 ft) square cylindrical stone tower, painted white, on the wall of the castle. The lighthouse tower is on the left in this photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The light was not very useful, since the navigable channel is on the other side of the river entrance. Located on the west side of the entrance to the Dart estuary southeast of Dartmouth. Site open, tower status unknown. Owner: English Heritage. Site manager: Dartmouth Castle. ARLHS ENG-031.
**** Start Point
1836 (James Walker). Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. In addition, a continuous red light is shown northeastward over the Skerries Bank from a window of the tower (focal plane 55 m (180 ft)). 28 m (92 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower attached to a keeper's house; buildings painted white. Fog horn (blast every 60 s). Three assistant keeper's cottages (1871). A photo is at right, Photographer's Resource has a fine page with many photos, Trabas has a fine photo by Klaus Kern, Wikimedia has additional photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a good satellite view. Three of the keeper's houses are available for overnight rental; the fourth is occupied by a resident caretaker who conducts tours of the light station. The station is somewhat endangered by erosion of the cliff on which it stands; the 1860s fog signal building collapsed in 1989 after being undermined by erosion. Note: there is another Start Point Light in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. Located at the end of a sharp promontory that juts eastward into the English Channel about 20 km (13 mi) south of Dartmouth; accessible by car from the A379 at Stokenham. Parking provided. Site open; tower open to tours daily during July and August and during Christmas holidays, and on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from early April to June 30 and on bank holidays. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-148; Admiralty A0228; NGA 0324.

Start Point Light
Start Point Light, Dartmouth, March 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Nilfanion


Eddystone and Plymouth Lighthouses
* Queen Anne's Battery Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); directional light, occulting once every 7.5 s, showing white southwestward over the channel, green to the right and red to the left. The light is shown from a small window in a square cylindrical clock tower mounted on the roof of a 2-story building. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of Artillery Place off Teats Hill road in Cattedown, on the east side of Plymouth. Operator: Cattewater Harbour Commissioners. Site manager: unknown. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ENG-312; Admiralty A0132; NGA 0184.
**** Eddystone (4) (Smeaton's Tower)
1759 (John Smeaton). Inactive since at least 1882. 22 m (72 ft) tapered granite tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. The lantern, formerly red, is now painted white. Huelse's historic postcard view shows a different pattern. Ben Harper's photo is at right, Ian Gedge has a fine 2007 photo, Wikimedia has many photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a good satellite view. Smeaton's Tower was the first successful stone waveswept tower and one of the great engineering marvels of the 18th century. When the current Eddystone lighthouse was built, the upper 2/3 of the 1759 tower was saved for reassembly in Plymouth. It has been carefully restored and recently renovated (2000-02). The nearby Plymouth Dome visitor center was closed in 2007; after redevelopment plans collapsed it was taken over by the city council, which is seeking a new operator. The 250th anniversary of the lighthouse was celebrated on 17 October 2009. Located on Plymouth Hoe, a grassy hill overlooking the town and harbor. Site open, tower open guided tours (admission fee) Tuesday through Saturday. Owner/site manager: Plymouth City Council. ARLHS ENG-091.
Smeaton's Tower, Plymouth
1759 Eddystone Light (Smeaton's Tower), Plymouth, May 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ben Harper
* Ocean Court (Hamoaze)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); quick-flashing light, white, red or green depending on direction. 3 m (10 ft) pyramidal wood tower mounted on a platform atop the corner of the multistory Ocean Court condominium building. Tower painted white with a triangular red daymark (point down). Trabas has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. The light overlooks the Mayflower Marina, guiding vessels approaching from the west (downstream). Located at the end of Richmond Walk in Plymouth. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty A0178; NGA 0274.
* Plymouth Breakwater
1844. Active; focal plane 19 m (63 ft); flash every 10 s; white flashes are shown to the northeast for ships leaving the harbor and red flashes otherwise. In addition, a white light (2 s on, 2 s off) is shown over the entrance channel southwestward from a tower window at a focal plane of 12 m (39 ft). 23.5 m (78 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery. Fog horn (blast every 15 s). Lighthouse painted white. Steve Johnson has posted a large closeup, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The detached Plymouth Breakwater, a major engineering project of the early nineteenth century, was built in stages between 1812 and 1847. Located at the west end of the breakwater, at the southwestern entrance to Plymouth Harbour. Accessible only by boat. Operator: Cattewater Harbour Commission. Site manager: unknown. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ENG-104; Admiralty A0114; NGA 0148.
Eddystone (5)
1882 (James Douglass). Station established 1698. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); two quick white flashes, separated by 2.5 s, every 10 s. In addition, a red light (5 s on, 5 s off) is shown to the northwest from a tower window at a focal plane of 28 m (93 ft). 51 m (168 ft) round granite tower, incorporating keeper's quarters, with lantern and a helipad built above the lantern. Tower is unpainted gray stone; lantern and helipad painted red. Fog horn (blast every 30 s). A photo is at right, Photographer's Resource has an excellent page for the lighthouse, Steve Johnson has posted a great photo, Richard Knights has another good photo, Wikimedia has historic photos, and Marinas.com has excellent aerial photos. This is probably the most famous British lighthouse, and indeed one of the most famous lighthouses in the world. The first tower, built of wood, had to be rebuilt one year later and lasted only 4 more years. The third (Rudyerd's Tower), was designed by John Rudyerd and built with alternate courses of oak timbers and granite blocks. Remarkably durable, this tower stood from 1709 until it burned in 1755. The fourth tower was a tapered granite and concrete structure built by John Smeaton. A huge advance in civil engineering, it introduced techniques that became standard in lighthouse construction. Completed in 1759, it stood until cracks in the masonry forced its demolition in the 1870s. The upper portion of Smeaton's Tower was rebuilt on Plymouth Hoe (see above), but the base of the original remains next to the current tower. A Fresnel lens was installed in Smeaton's Tower in 1845. The present tower, designed by James Douglass, is built with granite blocks that are interlocked both side to side and above and below, giving the tower exceptional strength. Located on a rock that barely breaks the surface of the sea about 25 km (15 mi) south southwest of Plymouth. Accessible only by boat or helicopter. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-039; Admiralty A0098; NGA 0132.

Eddystone Light, English Channel, 2005
Wikimedia public domain photo by Pline

Cornwall Lighthouses

St. Austell Area Lighthouses
* [Nailzee Point Fog Signal]
Date unknown (after 1977). Inactive since 2012. 3 m (10 ft) square concrete "pillbox," with a square opening in the front, painted white. No photo available. Located on the east side of the harbor entrance in Looe. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty A0095.
* [Spy House Point (Polperro)]
1911. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, 3 s on, 3 s off. 3 m (10 ft) round brick tower with lantern, painted white with black trim. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the entrance to the harbor of Polperro, a small port about 10 km (6 mi) east of Fowey. Site open, tower closed. Operator: unknown. ARLHS ENG-243; Admiralty A0090; NGA 0118.
* [Whitehouse Point]
1892; relocated here in 1904. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); directional light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off, showing white over the channel, green to the right and red to the left. 6 m (20 ft) cast iron "drum" tower, with a cylindrical enclosure mounted atop a post and an external ladder to the enclosure, all painted bright red. Not much of a lighthouse, but an unusual light tower. Trabas has an excellent photo, a view from the harbor is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the harbor at Fowey. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Fowey Harbour Commissioners. ARLHS ENG-217; Admiralty A0084; NGA 0108.
* St. Catherine's Point
1904. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); directional light, 2 s on, 5 s off; white light is shown to the southeast over the entrance channel to Fowey Harbour, with red to either side. 6 m (20 ft) round cast iron lantern standing on a short octagonal concrete base. Millichamp has a photo, Trabas also has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the cliff edge on the west side of the harbor entrance. Accessible by walking the South West Coast Trail. Site open, tower closed. Owner/operator: Fowey Harbour Commissioners. ARLHS ENG-218; Admiralty A0082; NGA 0104.
* [Gribben Head]
1832. Never a lighthouse, this is a very large, historic daybeacon: a 25 m (84 ft) square stone tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. Neil Hobbs has a 2007 closeup photo, Paul Love also has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the headland, about 75 m (250 ft) above the sea about 2 km (1.2 mi) southwest of Fowey. Accessible by walking the South West Coast Trail. Site open, tower status unknown. Owner/site manager: National Trust.
* Mevagissey (South Breakwater)
1896. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 2 s off, 1.5 s on, 5 s off. 8 m (27 ft) hexagonal cast iron tower, painted white; base of the tower painted black. Fog horn (blast every 30 s). Roger Marks's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup photo by Arno Siering, a 2007 photo and a closeup photo of the lantern are available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and the little tower is centered in a Google satellite view and a distant Google street view. The light is a sibling of the 1890 St. Ives Light (see below). Located at the end of the south breakwater in Mevagissey, about 7 km (4.5 mi) south of St. Austell. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Mevagissey Harbour Trustees. ARLHS ENG-234; Admiralty A0078; NGA 0100.
Mevagissey Light
Mevagissey Light, July 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Roger Marks

Falmouth Area Lighthouses
* St. Anthony's Head
1835. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light, 7.5 s on, 7.5 s off; red light is shown to the south southeast over the Manacles Rocks. 19 m (62 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery attached to 2-story keeper's house; 1st order Fresnel lens. Building painted white; inactive fog signals on the rear of the gallery are black. Fog horn (3 blasts every 30 s). Photographer's Resource has a several good photos, Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, Sebastian de Gange has a fine 2007 photo taken from the water, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse marks the eastern entrance to Carrick Roads, the harbor of Falmouth. Located at the end of Military Road off the A3078 southwest of Portscatho. Parking available. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be viewed at close range. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-141; Admiralty A0062; NGA 0068.
**** The Lizard (2) (Twin towers)
1752 (Thomas Fonnereau). Station established 1619. East tower active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); white flash every 3 s. West tower inactive since 1903. Twin octagonal cylindrical stone towers connected by a 2-story stone keeper's quarters; the east tower is 19 m (62 ft) tall with its lantern, 1st order Fresnel lens, and gallery. The lantern of the west tower has been removed. Building painted white. Fog horn (blast every 30 s). The signal station nearby was built by Lloyd's of London to report ship arrivals. Nick Hubbard's photo is at right, Chris Bradley has a photo, Photographer's Resource has an excellent page with numerous photos, Trabas has a closeup photo of the east tower by Klaus Kern, Wikimedia has several photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and an excellent satellite view. The Lizard, a peninsula southeast of Penzance, is the southernmost point of the mainland of Great Britain; its name does not refer to reptiles but is an English spelling of a Cornish word lysardh meaning a high point or headland. This famous lighthouse has been a traditional landfall for ships arriving in England for more than 250 years. Visitor facilities at the lighthouse were operated by the Trevithick Trust for many years. In 2004 the lighthouse was closed for renovations, and during the same year the trust went out of operation. Trinity House then took over the visitor facilities and reopened the lighthouse on 1 May 2005. In July 2009 the Trinity House Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre was opened in the station's engine building. Located on the point at the end of the A3083 highway (Lighthouse Road) from Helston. Parking provided. Site open, visitor center and tower open daily in the summer and several days per week the rest of the year. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-068; Admiralty A0060; NGA 0064.
The Lizard Light
East Tower, The Lizard, Landewednack, October 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Nick Hubbard

Penzance Area Lighthouses
* Marazion (?)
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 4 m (13 ft) hexagonal brick castellated tower; the light was displayed through a window. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. According to Millichamp, lights were shown through a window of the tower, but no evidence has been found that it was ever an official aid to navigation. Located at the end of Leys Lane in Marazion, on Mount's Bay opposite St. Michael's Mount, about 8 km (5 mi) east of Penzance. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ENG-331.
* [Penzance South Pier (3)]
1853 (station established 1818). Active; focal plane 11 m (37 ft); flash every 5 s, white to the southeast and red in other directions. 10 m (31 ft) round cylindrical cast iron post with lantern, painted white with a broad black band at the base. Trabas has a closeup photo by Arno Siering, a good 2007 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view across the harbor. The tower was prefabricated by the Copperhouse Foundry at Hayle; the original gallery was removed in the 1950s. Located at the end of the south pier, also called the Lighthouse Pier, near the Isles of Scilly ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Cornwall Council (Penzance Harbour). ARLHS ENG-240; Admiralty A0046; NGA 0048.
* Newlyn Harbour South Pier (2)
1914 (station established 1887). Active; focal plane 10 m (34 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (34 ft) round cast iron tower, painted white; the top of the lantern is red and there is also a red band at the base of the tower. A photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup photo by Arno Siering, Jon Law has a good closeup, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. The original light was a cast iron tower very similar to the present light; it was replaced when the pier was extended by 90 ft (27 m). The present light was prefabricated in London by Butler Brothers. Located at the end of the pier in Newlyn, on the south side of Penzance. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Newlyn Pier and Harbour Commission. ARLHS ENG-236; Admiralty A0038; NGA 0040.
Newlyn Harbour Light
Newlyn Harbour South Pier Light, May 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Herbythyme

Land's End Lighthouses
Note: Land's End is the picturesque and stormy headland at the extreme southwestern tip of Cornwall and of England. Located at the end of the A30 highway, the cape is a popular tourist attraction with a visitors' center and a large parking area.
* Tater Du
1965. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); three white flashes, separated by 2.5 s, every 15 s. 15 m (50 ft) round cylindrical concrete block tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, rising from 1-story service building. Fog horn (two blasts every 30 s). Trabas has a great closeup by Klaus Kern, Photographer's Resource has an excellent page with numerous photos, Tony Kerr has another photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was built after the Spanish freighter Juan Ferrar wrecked nearby in 1963 with the loss of 11 lives. Located on a headland about 6 km (4 mi) southwest of Penzance. The road to the light station is not open to the public, but the lighthouse is accessible by hiking about 3 km (2 mi) from Lamorna Cove on the Cornish Coastal Trail. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-152; Admiralty A0032; NGA 0032.
* [Gwennap Head Range Beacons]
1821. Two 4 m (13 ft) round conical stone daybeacons, 67 m (220 ft) apart. The front beacon is painted bright red, while the rear beacon is painted black with a white horizontal band. Niger Homer has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Built by Trinity House, the beacons warn vessels away from the Runnel Stone, a hazardous pinnacle offshore. Located on Gwennap Head, the southeastern point of Land's End. Site open.
Wolf Rock
1869 (James Walker and William Douglass). Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 15 s. 41 m (135 ft) round granite tower, incorporating keeper's quarters, with lantern and a helipad built above the lantern. The tower is unpainted gray stone; lantern painted white. Fog horn (one 2.5 s blast every 30 s). The concrete base of an 1840 daybeacon also survives on the rock. A photo is at right, Photographer's Resource has a good page for the lighthouse, Simon Clode has a good photo, Trabas has a closeup photo by Kees Aalbersberg, and Huelse has a historic postcard view. This lighthouse took 8 years to build under very severe conditions. The helipad above the lantern, the first of its kind in the world, was added in 1972. Located on a bare rock about 6.5 km (4 mi) southwest of Land's End. Accessible only by helicopter; distantly visible from Land's End. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-170; Admiralty A0030; NGA 0028.
Longships (2)
1875 (James Douglass) (station established 1791). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); red or white light, depending on direction, 5 s on, 5 s off, shown day and night. 35 m (115 ft) round granite tower, incorporating keeper's quarters, with lantern and a helipad built above the lantern. The tower is unpainted gray stone; lantern painted white. Fog horn (blast every 10 s). Photographer's Resource has a good page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a distant view by Douglas Cameron, Paul Bayfield has a 2008 photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The original light was 24 m (79 ft) above the sea, but it had to be replaced because storm waves so often obscured the light. Even today, great waves sometimes break over the lighthouse: there are dramatic photos taken 10 March 2008 (see the third and fourth row of photos on the page). Located on Carn Bras, largest of the Longships Rocks, about 1.5 km (1 mi) west of Land's End. Accessible only by boat or helicopter; visible from Land's End. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-069; Admiralty A0028; NGA 0024.

Wolf Rock Light, September 2008
anonymous Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
**** Pendeen
1900. Active; focal plane 59 m (195 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2.2 s, every 15 s. 17 m (56 ft) concrete-clad rubblestone tower, attached to 1-story keeper's houses. Entire building painted white. Original rotating 1st order Fresnel lens in use. Electronic fog horn (blast every 20 s). Original fog signal building with two diaphone horns. The 1-story keeper's house has four apartments; one is occupied by an attendant and the other three are available for vacation rental. An excellent photo is available, Trabas also has a closeup photo by Arno Siering, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a closeup street view and a fine satellite view. This historic and well-preserved light station is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the Land's End area. Located on the promontory called Pendeen Watch, about 2 km (1.2 mi) north of the B3306 highway at Pendeen. Accessible by road, parking provided. Site open, buildings and tower open to guided tours daily except Saturdays during July and August and during holiday periods in the spring. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-100; Admiralty A5670; NGA 6304.

Isles of Scilly Lighthouses
Note: The Isles of Scilly, (pronounced silly in English, syllan in Cornish) are located 45 km (28 mi) southwest of Land's End and are accessible by ferry from Penzance. There are five inhabited islands and about 135 islets and rocks in the group. The permanent population is a little over 2000.
Bishop Rock
1858 (substantially rebuilt in 1887) (James Walker (1858) and James Douglass (1887)). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 51 m (167 ft) round granite tower, incorporating keeper's quarters, with lantern and a helipad built above the lantern. Tower is unpainted gray stone; lantern and helipad painted white. Fog horn (one long and one short blast every 90 s). Jeremy Pearson's photo is at right, Photographer's Resource has a good page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a great closeup by Joan and Gary Trigwell, Murray Nurse also has a closeup, and Bing has a satellite view. This is one of the world's most famous and most exposed lighthouses: on one occasion giant waves ripped the fog bell from the gallery. The engineer James Walker first built a 42 m (138 ft) skeletal tower on the reef, believing that the skeletal design would allow waves to pass through the tower. The ocean demonstrated otherwise, destroying the tower in February 1850 before it was completed. Walker then constructed a 35 m (115 ft) masonry tower, completed in September 1858. Its successful construction was rightly considered a triumph of British engineering. Douglass inspected the tower in 1881 and found that it had been damaged by wave action. He ordered the lighthouse to be strengthened and heightened by 12 m (39 ft) by building what amounted to a new tower completely enclosing the old one. A new lantern increased the height by another 4 m (13 ft). The helipad was added in 1973. Keepers manned the station until December 1992. The lighthouse formerly had a giant "double" Fresnel lens, with two lights, although only the lower lens was used most of the time. Both lights were lit in the fog. Half of this unusual lens is on display at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth. Located on a bare rock pinnacle 6 km (4 mi) west of the Isles of Scilly. Accessible only by helicopter; visible distantly from St. Agnes. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-010; Admiralty A0002 (the very first lighthouse in the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals); NGA 0004.
* St. Agnes
1680. Inactive since 1911. Approx. 21 m (70 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Chris Downer has a good photo, the BBC has posted a photo by Beth Hilton, Terry Burgess has another good photo, and Google has a satellite view. One of the oldest British lighthouses, this tower was built for Trinity House by Capt. Hugh Till and Capt. Symon Bayly. The lighthouse is still owned by Trinity House, but the adjacent 2-story keeper's houses are leased as a private residence. The original coal chauffer, an open container used with no lens, is on display at the botanical gardens on the Isle of Tresco. The lighthouse was replaced by the Peninnis Head Light. Located at the highest point of St. Agnes, southwesternmost of the main Isles of Scilly. Site and tower closed, although the lighthouse can be viewed from nearby. Owner: Trinity House; site manager: private. ARLHS ENG-140.
Bishop Rock Light
Bishop Rock Light, Isles of Scilly, June 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jeremy Pearson
* Peninnis Head
1911. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 20 s. 14 m (46 ft) round steel tower, lower half skeletal and upper half enclosed, with lantern and gallery. Lantern and watch room painted white; skeletal legs and lantern dome painted black. 1-story equipment building. Bob Embleton's photo is at right, Trabas has an excellent photo by Arno Siering, Jo Parsons has a good closeup, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the southernmost point of St. Mary's, the largest of the Isles of Scilly. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-102; Admiralty A0006; NGA 0008.
Round Island
1887. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); white flash every 10 s. 19 m (63 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, attached to a 1-story stone keeper's house. Fog horn (four blasts every 60 s). Jo Parsons has a good photo, a distant view is also available, Trabas has a very distant view by Arno Siering, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the northernmost of the Isles of Scilly, a bare rocky island northeast of Tresco. Accessible only by boat or helicopter. Site and tower closed. Operator/site manager: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-118; Admiralty A0018; NGA 0016.
* [St. Martin's Beacon]
1683. Inactive daybeacon. 11 m (36 ft) round granite tower with a cylindrical base 6.4 m (21 ft) high topped by a sharply conical top. Beacon painted with red and white horizontal bands. A fine 2009 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Claimed to be Britain's oldest surviving beacon, this historic tower was built by Thomas Ekins. Originally painted white, it was changed to red in the 19th century and to its banded appearance in recent years. Located on the northeastern point of St. Martin's, the northernmost inhabited island of the Isles of Skilly. Site open, tower closed.

Peninnis Head Light, Isles of Scilly, August 2008
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Bob Embleton

St. Ives Area Lighthouses
* St. Ives (1)
1831 (James and Edward Harvey). Inactive since 1890. 6 m (20 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with octagonal gallery and a broad observation room instead of a traditional lantern. A fine closeup is available, Wikimedia has a 2010 photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This tower is mounted on the original harbor wall built by John Smeaton in 1770, but the common belief that Smeaton also built the lighthouse is not correct. After deactivation in 1890 the building was used as a store. The lighthouse was restored in the late 1990s after being nearly destroyed by fire in 1996. Located on the waterfront in St. Ive's. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Cornwall Council. ARLHS ENG-144.
* St. Ives (3)
1890. Active; focal plane 8 m (27 ft); two continuous green lights, one above the other. 10.5 m (32 ft) cast iron tower with lantern and gallery mounted on an octagonal stone base. Lighthouse painted white, base black. A photo appears at right, Trabas has a photo by Arno Siering, Wikimedia has a 2010 photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This light was prefabricated in Bath by Stothert and Pitt, Ltd. The lantern from a post light that was near this location for several years in the late 1860s is on display at the St. Ives Museum. Located at the end of the extension (1890) to Smeaton's Pier in St. Ive's; accessible by walking the pier. Operator: Cornwall Council. ARLHS ENG-276; Admiralty A5665; NGA 6296.
Hayle Range Rear
Date unknown (station established 1840). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); continuous white light. 4.5 m (15 ft) square wood tower standing on four wood piles. The light is shown through a small opening. Lighthouse painted white with a red horizontal band. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a similar but smaller structure. Located on the west side of the entrance to the River Hayle, north of Lelant, adjacent to the West Cornwall Golf Club. Site status unknown, certainly open to golfers. Admiralty A5658.1; NGA 6292.
Godrevy Island
1859 (James Walker). Inactive since 2012. 26 m (86 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower, painted white. Keepers houses demolished; oil house survives. Steven Turner's closeup photo is at the top of this page, Photographer's Resource has a good page for the station, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The author Virginia Wolff spent holidays at Talland House in St. Ives, and her view of this lighthouse inspired the writing of her most famous work, To The Lighthouse (1927). In January 2005, a permit was issued to build apartments that will block this view. Soon thereafter, Trinity House announced plans to deactivate the light, but in August it backed down in the face of widespread protests. In 2012, Trinity House announced once again that the lighthouse would be deactivated and replaced by a smaller light at the end of August. The new light (focal plane 28 m (92 ft); flash every 10 s, white or red depending on direction; Admiralty A5655) is on a post next to the lighthouse. The island was bought by Dennis Arbon, who subsequently donated it to Truro's Hall for Cornwall, a local theater organization. In 2009 the Hall placed the land for sale, but the buyer must maintain public access to the lighthouse. In 2014, Trinity House approached local authorities about possibly acquiring the lighthouse, but then changed its mind and announced it would maintain the tower as a daybeacon. Located about 500 m (0.3 mi) off Godrevy Point near Gwithian at the northeastern entrance to St. Ives's Bay. Accessible only by boat, but there are excellent views from the Southwest Coast Path. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Truro's Hall. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-047; ex-Admiralty A5654; NGA 6284.
St. Ives Light
St. Ives Light, October 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ennor
* Portreath
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 6 m (20 ft) cylindrical tower topped by a short mast that formerly held a navigation light. A photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Millichamp rediscovered this forgotten lighthouse in his survey of English lights. Located at the end of the Landmark Pier in Portreath. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown. ARLHS ENG-324.
* [Portreath Beacon]
Date unknown. Daybeacon, never lit. Approx. 6 m (20 ft) round stone tower, painted white. Ian Garfield has a closeup 2013 photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. We need information on the history of this beacon. Located on Lighthouse Hill on the east side of the entrance to Portreath. Site open, tower closed.

Northern Cornwall Lighthouses
* [Newquay Huer's Hut]
Date unknown. A prominent daybeacon, possibly used as a lighthouse. Approx. 7 m (23 ft) whitewashed rubblestone building with a prominent square chimney. The Cornwall Guide also has a nice page for the building, Pete Lush has a closeup photo, David Long has a photo and a second photo of the explanatory plaque, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This building is reputed to date from the 14th century, although some historians question that early date. It served as a watch station for huers, men hired during the pilchard season to watch for schools of the fish and alert local fishermen to take to the sea if fish were sighted. Lights might also be displayed to assist the boats on their return, although there's no evidence that the building was used otherwise as a lighthouse. Located on a promontory at the entrance to the harbor of Newquay. Site open, tower closed.
** Trevose Head (High)
1847. Active; focal plane 62 m (204 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 26.5 m (87 ft) brick tower with lantern and gallery attached to two 1-story keeper's houses. Rotating 1st order Fresnel lens (1913) in use. Fog horn (2 blasts every 30 s). Entire light station painted white. Steve Wheeler's photo is at right, Photographer's Resource has several photos, Trabas has a good closeup by Arno Siering, West Country Views has a fine portfolio of photos, and Google has a good satellite view. The keeper's houses are available for vacation rental. Trevose Head is a peninsula at the northwestern tip of Cornwall. The former low light was discontinued in 1882. Located about 8 km (5 mi) northwest of Padstow. Site and keeper's house open to paying guests, tower closed. The lighthouse can be viewed from nearby on the Southwest Coast Path. Operator: Trinity House. Site manager: Rural Retreats. ARLHS ENG-157; Admiralty A5638; NGA 6272.

Trevose Head Light, Padstow, April 2010
Geograph Creative Commons photo by John Brightley

Devon North Coast Lighthouses

Torridge District: Lundy Island Lighthouses
Note: Lundy Island is located in the mouth of the Bristol Channel about 20 km (13 mi) northwest of Hartland Point. The island is accessible by ferry from Bideford or Ilfracombe from late March through the end of October or by helicopter from Hartland Point on Mondays and Fridays during the winter. There is one small settlement on the island, with about 25 residents, and overnight accommodations are available. The entire island is managed by the Landmark Trust.
* Lundy Island South
1897. Active; focal plane 53 m (175 ft); quick white flash every 15 s. 16 m (52 ft) cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery attached to two 1-story keeper's houses. Solar-powered lens in the lantern. The fog horn (blast every 25 s) is mounted atop the lantern. All buildings painted white. Photographer's Resource has a page for the lighthouse, Trabas has an excellent photo, Nick Hubbard has also posted a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located atop cliffs at the southern tip of the island, where it is more accessible to visitors than the north light. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-075; Admiralty A5618; NGA 6248.
*** Lundy Island (Old Light)
1820 (Joseph Nelson and Daniel Alexander). Inactive since 1897. 29 m (96 ft) granite tower with lantern and gallery, connected to two 2-story keeper's houses. An additional 1-story keeper's cottage is nearby. The buildings are unpainted stone; lantern painted white. All three keeper's houses are available for vacation rental. Shaun Wallin has an excellent closeup, Wikimedia has numerous photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on Beacon Hill, the highest point of the island. Site open, keeper's houses open to paying guests, tower open for climbing. Owner: Landmark Trust. Site manager: Lundy Island Company (see "The Old Light" under the Accommodation tab). ARLHS ENG-073.
Lundy Island North
1897. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); quick white flash every 5 s. 17 m (56 ft) cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery attached to two 1-story keeper's houses. All buildings painted white. The lantern is not in use; since 1991 the solar-powered light has been displayed from the roof of the small fog signal tower on the north side of the lighthouse. Steve Hodgson's photo is at right, Photographer's Resource has a page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a great photo, Nick Hubbard has also posted a good photo, Wikimedia has photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Located atop cliffs at the northern tip of the island; accessible by a rough walk of 10 km (6 mi) roundtrip. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-074; Admiralty A5616; NGA 6244.
Lundy Island North Light
Lundy Island North Light, August 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Steve Hodgson

Torridge District: Mainland Lighthouses
Hartland Point
1874 (James Douglass). Inactive since 2012. Fog horn (blast every 60 s). 18 m (59 ft) brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, attached to 2-story service building. The keeper's houses were demolished in 1984 to make room for a helipad. A photo is at right, Trinity House has a page for the station, Wikimedia has numerous photos, and Google has a satellite view. A seawall was built in 1925 to protect this clifftop station from erosion of the cliff. In January 2010, Trinity House proposed that the light be deactivated. After many protests it agreed in May to continue the light at reduced power, but the light was finally extinguished early in 2012. Hartland Point is a right-angled turn in the coastline at the extreme southwestern entrance to Bristol Channel. Located about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Hartland. The road to the lighthouse is gated at a parking area for the South West Coast Path; good views of the light station are available by taking the path west and south. Site and tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-051; ex-Admiralty A5622; NGA 6252.
* Instow Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light, 5 s on, 1 s off, day and night. 18 m (59 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and a rectangular, vertically-slatted daymark. Entire lighthouse painted white. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The range guides ships through the narrow channel into the River Taw. Located on the west bank of the Taw on the north side of Instow, adjacent to the clubhouse of the North Devon Cricket Club. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Torridge District Council (Port of Bideford). ARLHS ENG-204; Admiralty A5610; NGA 6232.
* Instow Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 38 m (126 ft); white light, 7.5 s on, 2.5 s off, day and night. 8.5 m (28 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery mounted atop a 1-story equipment hut, painted white. Trabas has Arno Siering's photo showing the light in the middle of a sheep pasture, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located just off Rectory Lane on the northwest side of Instow, 425 m (1/4 mi) west southwest of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Torridge District Council (Port of Bideford). ARLHS ENG-254; Admiralty A5610.1; NGA 6236.
Hartland Point Light
Hartland Point Light, Titchberry, July 2004
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Nicholas Mutton

North Devon District Lighthouses
* [Braunton Sands Low (Crow Point) (2)]
1957(?) (station established 1820). Active; focal plane 8 m (27 ft); flash every 5 s, white or red depending on direction. 7.5 m (25 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower, painted white; no lantern. Trabas has a distant photo, a closeup is available, and Google has a satellite view. Originally there were high and low lighthouses at Braunton Sands; the high light was a remarkable octagonal wood tower mounted atop a 2-story keeper's house. A 1906 view is available. These lights were demolished in 1957. Located on a sandy spit just inside the entrance to the River Taw opposite Instow. It should be possible to walk out to the light. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS ENG-030; Admiralty A5612; NGA 6240.
** Bull Point (3)
1976 (station established 1879). Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); three white flashes every 10 s; also a continuous red hazard light is shown westward over Rockham Shoal. 12 m (35 ft) square cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-story utility building. 1-story keeper's house available for vacation rental. Photographer's Resource has a good page for the lighthouse, Wikimedia has photos, Trabas has a closeup photo by Arno Siering, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the original lighthouse. This clifftop light station is highly vulnerable to erosion. In September 1972 a large slide destroyed the fog signal building and threatened the lighthouse, forcing Trinity House to replace both structures. A temporary lighthouse (a skeletal tower with lantern and gallery) was relocated to serve while the present lighthouse was designed and built. Located on the point about 2 km (1.2 mi) north of Mortehoe. Accessible by a popular hike from Mortehoe on the South West Coast Path. Site open, keeper's house open to paying guests, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. Site manager: Rural Retreats. ARLHS ENG-017; Admiralty A5600; NGA 6228.
* Ilfracombe (Lantern Hill)
1819. Active; focal plane 39 m (127 ft); green flash every 2.5 s. 11 m (37 ft): white lantern mounted atop the 1-1/2 story stone Chapel of St. Nicholas. Trabas has a photo by Arno Siering, Jill Everington has a view across the harbor, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The chapel dates from about 1320, and navigational lights were shown from it beginning around 1650. The current light tower was added by Trinity House in 1819. Located atop a steeply conical hill above the harbor of Ilfracombe. Site open, chapel open regularly for services, tower closed. Operator: North Devon District Council. ARLHS ENG-059; Admiralty A5594; NGA 6220.
** Lynmouth Foreland (Foreland Point)
1900. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2.2 s, every 15 s. 15 m (50 ft) cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery attached to 1-story keeper's house. 1st order Fresnel lens in use. Don Cload's photo is at right, Photographer's Resource has a good page for the lighthouse, Lighthouse Explorer Database has a good photo by John Mobbs, Trabas has a closeup of the lantern, Steve Johnson has another fine closeup, and Google has a satellite view. The keeper's house is available for vacation rental. Land surrounding the lighthouse is included in Exmoor National Park. Located atop Foreland Point, a steep headland about 5 km (3 mi) east of Lynton. There is a winding service road to the lighthouse, used by cottage guests, but other visitors generally view the station from above on the South West Coast Path. There is a wonderful view across the Bristol Channel to Lundy Island. Site open, keeper's house open to paying guests, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. Site manager: National Trust. ARLHS ENG-044; Admiralty A5590; NGA 6208.

Lynmouth Foreland Light, Lynton, September 2009
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Don Cload

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  •  Braunton Sands High (1820-1957). This lighthouse was demolished; see Braunton Sands Low above. ARLHS ENG-008.

Notable faux lighthouses:

  •  Rhenish Tower (1850s, rebuilt after 1952), on the west pier at Lynmouth, is often called a lighthouse, but it was never an official aid to navigation. Google has a street view and a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: North: Western England | East: Southern England

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Posted November 23, 2004. Checked and revised June 19, 2014. Lighthouses: 40. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.