Lighthouses of the Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands are located in the southwestern corner of the Atlantic Ocean roughly 500 km (300 mi) east of Río Gallegos in the Pategonia 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.

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
Cape Pembroke Light, Stanley, December 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Joan Junyent

Lighthouse
**** Cape Pembroke (1)
1855 (relocated in 1906-07). Inactive since 1982. 18 m (60 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 to a 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, Donald Morrison has a 2008 photo, a 2010 photo is available, Trabas has Capt. Peter's view from the sea, the Falkland Islands Museum has a page with a photo and a historical account, Jane Cameron has written an account of the station's history, 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 reported 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.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Cape Meredith (1936-?), southern tip of West Falkland. ARLHS FAL-002.
  • Bull Point (1932-?), southern tip of East Falkland

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: South: Antarctica | West: Southern Argentina

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Posted September 29, 2005. Checked and revised May 21, 2014. Lighthouses: 1. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.