Lighthouses of the Falkland Islands
Islands are located in the southwestern corner of the Atlantic
Ocean roughly 500 km (300 mi) east of Río Gallegos in the
Patagonia region of southern Argentina. Spain, Britain, and France
all made early attempts to settle the islands, but after 1811 there were
no permanent settlements remaining. Argentina claimed the Falklands
(known in Spanish as the Islas Malvinas) as soon as it became independent
from Spain in 1820, but British naval forces took the islands in 1833
and established a colony that survives to the present day. In 1982
Argentine forces captured the islands, precipitating a 10-week war
that ended with resumption of British control. Argentina continues to assert its claim.
The population of
the territory is quite small, about 3000 people. The Chilean airline LanChile has scheduled flights from Santiago de Chile and from Río Gallegos. However, most visitors arrive by cruise ship, as the islands are a regular port of call for adventure cruises to the Antarctic.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume G of the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers
are from Publication 110.
- General Sources
- Online List of
Lights - Falkland Islands
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.
- World of Lighthouses - British Territories in the Atlantic
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Lighthouses in the Falkland Islands
- Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Cape Pembroke Light, Stanley, December 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Joan Junyent
- **** Cape Pembroke (1)
- 1855 (relocated in 1906-07). Inactive since 1982. 21 m (69 ft) round cast
iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted black with a broad white horizontal
band below the lantern. The 3rd order Fresnel lens installed in 1907 was smashed by vandals in 1982. The active light (1987; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); three
white flashes every 20 s) has been moved atop a short concrete post nearby. Joan Junyent's
photo is at right, Phil Gyford has posted a good January 2006 photo,
Neal Doan has photos from a March 2009 visit, Don Aldmor Rison has a 2008 photo,
a 2010 photo
is available, Trabas has Capt. Peter Mosselberger's view
from the sea,
and Google has a satellite
view. Prefabricated in London, the lighthouse was meant to warn ships
away from the Billy Rock, a very dangerous reef about 800 m (1/2 mi) offshore.
The original foundation deteriorated seriously, and in 1906-07 the lighthouse
was relocated on a new foundation about 180 m (200 yd) west of the original
location. The lighthouse was deactivated after being damaged in the 1982 war between Britain and Argentina. Sometime thereafter the 3rd order Fresnel lens (installed in 1907) was smashed by vandals. In recent years the lighthouse has been restored as a tourist
attraction and historical monument. L. Handcock
in November 2004 that this restoration had been completed. There are plans to add a museum at the
site, which is accessible from Stanley (the capital and only real town) by
a hiking trail. The 150th anniversary of the lighthouse was celebrated
on December 1, 2005. Located at the easternmost point of East Falkland, marking
the entrance to Stanley harbor. Site open. The key to the tower can be borrowed
at the museum (£5 fee) and guides are available to conduct tours
to the cape and lighthouse. Owner: Falkland Islands Government. Site manager:
Falkland Islands Museum and National
Trust. ARLHS FAL-001; Admiralty G1352; NGA 20336.
- [Engineer Point]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); green flash every 6 s. 3 m (10 ft) white lantern box atop a square concrete pylon painted with red and yellow horizontal bands. Trabas has a closeup photo by Rainer Arndt, but the small light is hard to spot in Google's satellite view. Located on the east side of the narrow entrance to Stanley's sheltered harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1348; NGA 20352.
- [Navy Point]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 5 m (17 ft); red flash every 6 s. 2 m (7 ft) white lantern box atop a square concrete pylon painted with red and yellow horizontal bands. Trabas has a closeup photo by Rainer Arndt, but the small light is hard to spot in Google's satellite view. Located on the west side of the narrow entrance to Stanley's sheltered harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G1346; NGA 20348.
- [Porpoise Point (Bull Point) (2)]
- 1990 (station established 1932). Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. Approx. 5 m (17 ft) square post on a square stone base. A postage stamp image is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Bull Point is a crooked peninsula at the southernmost tip of East Falkland, and Porpoise Point is the extreme southern tip of the peninsula. The light is located on a bluff about 800 m (1/2 mi) north of Porpoise Point. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FAL-003; Admiralty G1359; NGA 20361.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
- Cape Meredith (1936-1959), southern tip of West Falkland. A postage stamp image is available. There is no longer a light at this location. ARLHS FAL-002.
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: South: Antarctica | West: Southern Argentina
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Posted September 29, 2005. Checked and revised April 24, 2016.
Lighthouses: 1. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.