Lighthouses of France: Northern Finistère

France's Département du Finistère (Department of the End of the World) occupies the rugged western end of the peninsula of Bretagne (Brittany). Its dangerous coastline is crowded with lighthouses, more than in any other region of France. So many, in fact, that the Directory needs two pages to cover them all. This page includes lighthouses in the northern half of the département, north of the port of Brest. This coast faces northwest on the entrance to La Manche (the English Channel).

The French word for a lighthouse, phare, is often reserved for the larger coastal lighthouses; a smaller light or harbor light is called a feu (literally "fire," but here meaning "light"). The front light of a range (alignement) is the feu antérieur and the rear light is the feu postérieur.

Aids to navigation in France were regulated for many years by the Bureau des Phares et Balises. This venerable agency has been absorbed as the office of Maritime Signalization (Signalisation Maritime) within Ecology, Infrastructure and Energy Ministry (Ministère de l'Écologie, du Développement Durable, et de l'Énergie). However, many of the lights are actually operated by the transport ministries or port authorities of the departmental governments.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. FR numbers are the French light list numbers, where known. Admiralty numbers are from volume A of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publications 113 and 114.

Phare du Stiff
Le Stiff Light, Île d'Ouessant, August 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo copyright leniners

General Sources
Le Phare à travers le Monde
A large, well known site maintained by Alain Guyomard and Robert Carceller.
Les Phares de France
Another large and well known site, this one by Jean-Christophe Fichou.
Ministère de la Culture - Phares
Historical data on more than 180 French lighthouses, with photos of most of them, posted by the French Ministry of Culture.
Online List of Lights - France North Coast
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Phares et Balises: Silhouettes
Photos and information posted by M. Mocquant.
Phareland, le Site des Phares de France
This comprehensive site has good photos and information about the major lighthouses.
Leuchttürme.net - Frankreich
Photos and notes by Malte Werning.
Lighthouses in Finistère
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Lighthouses in France
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Seeing Lighthouses in Brittany and Île d'Ouessant
Photos and English language text by Rick Chinn, including a useful chart of visitable lighthouses.
Société Nationale pour le Patrimoine des Phares et Balises (S.N.P.B.)
The French national lighthouse preservation organization.
Französische Leuchttürme und Baken auf historischen Postkarten
Historic photos and postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Phare de Pontusval
Pontusval Light, Brignogan-Plage, May 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre

Mer d'Iroise and Île d'Ouessant Lighthouses

Note: The Mer d'Iroise (Iroise Sea) is the turbulent basin of the Atlantic off the westernmost tip of France, between the Pointe du Raz and Île de Sein on the south and the Île d'Ouessant (Ushant) on the north. Subject to violent storms and huge waves, it is among the most dangerous seas of Europe.
Plougonvelin (Saint-Mathieu) Lighthouses
Les Pierres Noires
1872. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); red flash every 5 s. 28 m (92 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, incorporating keeper's quarters. Upper half of tower painted red, lower half white; lantern is black. Fog horn (two blasts every 60 s). Claude Carnot has a good photo, and Trabas has a commercial aerial photo, but the lighthouse is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a rocky islet about 9 km (5.5 mi) west of Pointe St.-Mathieu and 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Île Molène. Accessible only by boat. There is only a very distant view from shore, but there is a closer view from the ferries to the Île d'Ouessant. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-050; Admiralty A1886; NGA 113-0116.
**** Saint-Mathieu (2) (feu postérieur)
1835 (station established 1692). Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white flash every 15 s; also a continuous white light visible only as the rear light of a range for which the Kermorvan light is the front light. 37 m (121 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a round 1-story keeper's house. Lantern and top of the lighthouse painted red, rest of the tower white with gray trim. Clamshell Fresnel lens in use. The lighthouse is built amid the ruins of a 13th century Benedictine abbey; the monks began showing a light from the tower of the abbey in 1692. Nearby is a 5-story stone signal tower (sémaphore) topped by a modern control room that regulates ship traffic into and out of Brest. A photo is at right, Larry Myhre has a 2009 photo, Mocquant also has a good page for the lighthouse, Werning has a fine photo, Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, Wikimedia has dozens of photos, the Phareland site has many photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a good satellite view. Located on the Pointe St.-Mathieu about 3 km (1.8 mi) south of Le Conquet, marking the beginning of the approach to Brest. On a clear day more than a dozen lighthouses can be seen from this location. Located on the Pointe Saint-Matthieu about 30 km (19 mi) west of Brest. Accessible by road, parking provided. Site open, tower open on weekends and holidays in May and June, daily in July and August, daily except Tuesdays in September, and also during certain holiday periods. ARLHS FRA-056; Admiralty A1874.1; NGA 113-0104.
* Saint-Mathieu Feu Auxiliaire (2)
1899 (station established 1894). Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); quick-flashing light, white, red, or green depending on direction. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with unpainted stone trim. Werning has a good photo, Trabas has a closeup by Klaus Kern, Larry Myhre has a 2009 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This directional light helps guide smaller ships around the Pointe St.-Mathieu. Located about 54 m (175 ft) northwest of the main lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-624; Admiralty A1875; NGA 113-0108.
Les Vieux Moines
1898. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 4 s. 19 m (62 ft) octagonal concrete tower; no lantern. Tower painted red. Werning has a good photo, Trabas has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have excellent photos by Dominique Resmon, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located just off the Pointe St.-Mathieu. Accessible only by boat, but easily seen from shore. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-533; Admiralty A1884; NGA 113-0112.
St.-Mathieu Light
Pointe de St.-Mathieu Light, Plougonvelin, November 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Llorenzi

Le Conquet Lighthouses
* Lochrist (feu postérieur)
1939. Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white light occulting three times every 12 s, visible only near the range line and intensified on the range line.17 m (56 ft) octagonal concrete tower with concrete gallery but no lantern, mounted on an octagonal stone base. The front face of the tower is painted white on and below the gallery and red above; the rest of the tower is unpainted. Larry Myhre has a 2009 photo, Werning has an excellent photo, Trabas has a closeup, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The range guides ships on a southeast course through the Chenal de la Helle. Located on a hilltop just south of Le Conquet, about 2.7 km (1.7 mi) southeast of the Kermorvan light, which serves as the front light of the range. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-339; Admiralty A1880; NGA 113-0088.
La Grande Vinotière (4)
1919 (station established with a daybeacon in 1859 and as a lighted beacon in 1898). Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red light, 3 s on, 7 s off. 24 m (79 ft) octagonal stone tower on a square base, with gallery but no lantern. Tower painted red. Werning has a nice photo in which several other lighthouses can be seen, Trabas has a photo, and Guyomard and Carceller have photos. A hard-luck site. The first beacon was quickly overturned by a storm. The second, raised in height to carry a light in 1898, was destroyed in a collision with a ship in 1905. Its replacement was nearly destroyed by a storm in 1915. Located about 1.5 km (1 mi) west of the Pointe de Kermorvan, on the north side of the entrance to Le Conquet and at the south end of the Chenal du Four. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the Kermorvan lighthouse. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-306; Admiralty A1872; NGA 113-0092.
* Kermorvan
1849. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) square stone tower with lantern and gallery. The three seaward faces of the tower are painted white; the landward face and the stone gallery are unpainted. Fresnel lens in use. Julien Carnot's photo is at right, Larry Myhre has a 2009 photo, Werning has an excellent photo, Trabas has a closeup, Mocquant has a page with many photos, Wikimedia has several photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Behind the lighthouse is a stone fort that was used as the keeper's quarters after the army departed from it in 1898. Fog horn (blast every 60 s). The lighthouse serves several purposes; among them, it is the front light of a range guiding ships into the Chenal du Four, with the Phare de Trézien as the rear light. In another, it is the front light of a range guiding ships into the Chenal de la Helle, with the Phare de Lochrist as the rear light. And in yet another, it also serves as the front light of a range with the St.-Mathieu light. Located at the extreme tip of the Pointe de Kermorvan, which protects the north side of the harbor of Le Conquet. Excellent view from the ferries to the Île d'Ouessant. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-024; Admiralty A1874; NGA 113-0084.

Île Molène Lighthouse
Note: The Île Molène is a small island lying off the westernmost tip of France, between the mainland and the Île d'Ouessant. The island has a permanent population of about 275 and is accessible by passenger ferry from Brest year round and from Le Conquet and Camaret sur Mer during the summer. Some of the Ouessant ferries also call at Île Molène.
Les Trois Pierres (Île-Molène)
1923. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white, red, or green light, depending on direction, 2 s on, 2 s off. 15 m (49 ft) solid round cylindrical tower with gallery but no lantern, painted white. Access to the gallery is by an external ladder. Magali Deval has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rock on the northeast side of the island, marking the entrance to the harbor. Accessible only by boat, but there is a good view from the ferries. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-526; Admiralty A1870; NGA 113-0040.
Kermorvan Light
Kermorvan Light, Le Conquet, January 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Julien Carnot

Île d'Ouessant Lighthouses
Note: The Île d'Ouessant (often called Ushant in English) is an island lying off the westernmost tip of France. Its two accessible lighthouses, Créac'h and Le Stiff, are among the most famous in France. The island has a permanent population of about 900 and is accessible by passenger ferry from Brest year round and from Le Conquet and Camaret sur Mer during the summer. Transportation on the island is by bicycle or minibus.
La Jument
1911. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); three red flashes every 15 s. 48 m (157 ft) octagonal stone tower with lantern and gallery, incorporating 7-story keeper's quarters, mounted on a circular concrete base. Tower unpainted, lantern painted red. A photo is at right, the Phareland site has many photos, a good 2006 photo is available, and Trabas has a recent postcard photo. Construction of this lighthouse took nine years and did not result in a fully stable structure; repeated repair projects finally put it on a sound basis by 1940. Until then the trembling lighthouse was probably the least favored of all assignments for French keepers. The tower is built on a rock called La Vieille Jument, the Old Mare. Located about 2.2 km (1.4 mi) southwest of the southern tip of the Île d'Ouessant. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-026; Admiralty A1848; NGA 113-0024.
Nividic
1936. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); nine very quick white flashes every 10 s. 36 m (118 ft) octagonal stone tower, unpainted. Lantern replaced by a modern solar-powered light. This is France's westernmost lighthouse, standing at longitude 5°09.1' W. The ruined stone keeper's house was called the Villa des Tempêtes because of its exposed location. There was a fog signal station here from 1885 to 1900. Trabas has a good photo of the lighthouse, Denis de Poortere has a 2008 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1912 but was suspended during and after World War I. Access to the lighthouse was formerly by a cable car, and two of the support towers for the cable still stand behind the lighthouse. Located 900 m (0.55 mi) west of the westernmost point of the Île d'Ouessant. Accessible only by boat in some of the most dangerous seas anywhere. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-044; Admiralty A1846; NGA 113-0020.
Phare de la Jument
La Jument Light, Île d'Ouessant, July 2007
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Falken
*** Créac'h
1863. Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 55 m (180 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 2-story keeper's house complex. the lantern is surrounded by elaborate screening to protect migrating birds. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. The original 1st order Fresnel lens was transferred to Le Stiff in 1888. A photo is at right, Anne Gaelle has a photo, Mocquant has a page with good photos, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has many photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This is one of France's greatest and most important lighthouses. The lantern was replaced in 1888 and again in 1939 with what was designed to be one of the world's most powerful lights, visible for more than 60 km (37.5 mi). The keeper's complex houses a district office of the Signalisation Maritime, from which the other lighthouses of the western tip of France are controlled. It also houses a lighthouse museum exhibiting a wide range of lenses and other equipment. Located at the northwestern tip of the Île d'Ouessant. Accessible by road; limited parking. Site open, museum open in season, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-029; Admiralty A1844; NGA 113-0004.
**** Le Stiff
1699. Active; focal plane 85 m (279 ft); two red flashes every 20 s. 32 m (105 ft) round granite double tower, incorporating keeper's quarters, with lantern and two galleries; the lantern is carried by a 4 m (18 ft) stone tower added to the top of the original tower. 1st order Fresnel lens (1863, transferred from Créac'h in 1888) in use. Tower painted white; lantern painted black; watch room and lower gallery are unpainted dark granite. Two 1-story keeper's houses (1885) and other light station buildings preserved. A photo appears at the top of this page, Mocquant also has a good page for the lighthouse, the Phareland site has many photos, Trabas has a closeup, Wikimedia has several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This magnificent seventeenth century lighthouse was built at the order of Louis XIV's chief military engineer, the Marquis de Vauban. It displayed an open fire until 1820, when the first lantern was installed; in 1831 the present lantern and one of the first large Fresnel lenses were added. Keepers staffed the lighthouse until 1993. Located atop a bluff at the northern end of the Île d'Ouessant. Accessible by road; limited parking. Site open, tower open in July and August. ARLHS FRA-036; Admiralty A1842; NGA 113-0016.
* Le Stiff Tour Radar
1982. Active; continuous red light; in the daytime a quick-flashing white light is shown during fog. 82 m (269 ft) round cylindrical steel tower with a circular control room near the top. Wikimedia has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This tower monitors ship traffic entering La Manche (the English Channel) from the south; it was built in response to the wreck of the supertanker Amoco Cadiz just offshore on 17 March 1978. Located about 300 m (0.2 mi) north of the lighthouse. Site open, tower closed.

Créac'h Light, Île d'Ouessant, September 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by ADEUP
(Agence d'Urbanisme du Pays de Brest)
Men-Korn
1926 (unlit until 1953). Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); three very quick flashes every 5 s, white or red depending on direction. 29 m (95 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with gallery but no lantern, painted black with a yellow horizontal band. Access to the gallery is by an external ladder. Guyomard and Carceller have good photos, and Trabas also has a photo. Located about 1 km (0.6 mi) east of the easternmost point of the Île d'Ouessant. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the Île d'Ouessant. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-355; Admiralty A1852; NGA 113-0036.
Kéréon (Men-Tensel)
1916. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting three times in a 2+1 pattern every 24 s. 41 m (135 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, incorporating 6-story keeper's quarters, mounted on a circular concrete base. Tower unpainted, lantern painted white. Fog horn (Morse code "K," long-short-long, every 120 s). Trabas has a photo, and a view from the Ouessant mainland is available. It took nine years to build this lighthouse, the last of the great French waveswept towers. In the early days, the accommodations were so sumptuous that keepers called the tower "Le Palace." Keepers remained in the tower until it was finally automated on 29 January 2004. Located on the usually-submerged Men-Tensel reef about 2 km (1.25 mi) southeast of the eastern point of the Île d'Ouessant. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the Île d'Ouessant. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-324; Admiralty A1850; NGA 113-0032.

Mer Celtique Lighthouses

Note: The name Celtic Sea (Mer Celtique) applies to the waters of the Atlantic northwest of Brittany, southwest of Cornwall, and south of Ireland. The Iroise Sea is an embayment of the Celtic Sea.
Lampaul-Plouarzel Lighthouses
* Pointe de Corsen (2)
Date unknown (station established 1894). Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); quick-flashing light, white, red, or green, depending on direction. The light is displayed through a square window of a 3 m (10 ft) concrete box. The box is embedded in the center of a wall that has a red panel on one side of the light and a green panel on the other. The original light was mounted on a stone keeper's house, which stands in ruins next to the modern light. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The Pointe de Corsen is the westernmost point of the French mainland. Located on the point, about 1 km (0.6 mi) southwest of the Trézien lighthouse. Accessible by road, parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-061; Admiralty A1876; NGA 113-0080.
**** Trézien (feu postérieur)
1894. Active; focal plane 84 m (276 ft); white light, occulting twice every 6 s, intensified on the range line. 37 m (121 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery. The south side of the tower is painted white; otherwise the lighthouse is unpainted. The original 1-story stone keeper's house now houses a small museum. Larry Myhre's photo is at right, Werning has a fine photo, Trabas has a photo by Arno Siering, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the Pointe de Trézien, a traditional dividing point between La Manche (the English Channel) and the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to being a general navigation light, it forms a range with the Phare de Kermorvan to guide ships into the southern entrance of the Chenal du Four, the shipping route between the Île d'Ouessant and the mainland. The original lantern was destroyed during World War II and the lower part of the lighthouse was damaged, but repairs were made after the war. Located on the Route du Phare, about 500 m (0.3 mi) west of the Pointe de Trézien in the town of Trézien. Accessible by road, limited parking. Site open, tower open daily except Sundays in July and August. ARLHS FRA-750; Admiralty A1873.9; NGA 113-0072.
Le Faix (2)
1939 (station established 1890, inactive 1924-1939). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); very quick-flashing white light. 21 m (69 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. If there was a lantern, it was removed in 1975 when the lighthouse was converted to wind power. Trabas has a distant view. The original lighthouse was overturned by a storm on 29 December 1924. Located on a reef about 7 km (4.5 mi) west of the coast at Trézien. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-279; Admiralty A1862; NGA 113-0056.
#Les Plâtresses (2)
1922 (station established 1892). Collapsed in 2008. This was a 23 m (75 ft) round reinforced concrete tower, painted white. No closeup photo available. According to C. Mauguier, the lighthouse collapsed in January 2008 after being heavily damaged by a severe storm on 9 December 2007. The light (flash every 4 s, white or green depending on direction) has been replaced by a simple post. The original lighthouse was destroyed by a collision with the Portuguese ship Esposende on 14 November 1917. Located on a waveswept rock about 6 km (3.5 mi) offshore from Trézien. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from shore. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-400; ex-Admiralty A1860; ex-NGA 113-0060.
Trézien Light
Trézien Light, Lampaul-Plouarzel, May 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre

Lanildut, Porspoder and Ploudalmézeau Lighthouses
* Aber Ildut
1897. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting twice every 6 s. The light is mounted on a gable of a 1-story keeper's house. Building painted white. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the Aber Ilbut entrance in Lanildut. Accessible by a short walk south from the end of the Route de Port Blanc; parking available. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-113; Admiralty A1856; NGA 113-0052.
Le Four
1874. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); five white flashes every 15 s. 28 m (92 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery mounted on a square base. Lighthouse unpainted; lantern painted black. Fog horn (five blasts, in a 3+2 pattern, every 60 s). Laurent Quinquis's photo is at right, Guyomard and Carceller have good photos, Trabas has a photo, another view from the mainland is available, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse marks the northern entrance to the Chenal du Four, the shipping route between the Île d'Ouessant and the mainland. Located on a waveswept rock about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Porspoder. Accessible only by boat. There is a distant view from the Presqu'île de St.-Laurent north of Porspodor; this requires a hike of about 800 m (1/2 mi) from a parking area. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-013; Admiralty A1854; NGA 113-0048.
Corn Carhai (Rochers de Portsall)
1901. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal reinforced concrete tower with gallery; the original lantern has been replaced by a much smaller modern lantern. Tower unpainted; lantern and gallery painted black. A distant photo is available, and Trabas has a distant view showing surf breaking around the lighthouse, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the reef. Located on waveswept rocks about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Portsall in Ploudalmézeau. Accessible only by boat in very rough seas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-008; Admiralty A1836; NGA 114-7692.
Phare du Four
Le Four Light, August 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Laurent Quinquis

Landéda (Aber Wrac'h) and Plouguerneau Lighthouses
* La Palue (Aber Wrac'h)
1847. Inactive since 1970. 9 m (30 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery red. Werning's photo is at right (note the St. Antoine lighthouse in the background), Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by François Peleter, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the Quay de la Palue in Aber Wrac'h. Accessible by road, parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-784; ex-Admiralty A1831.
* Saint Antoine (feu postérieur)
1847. Inactive since 1970. 8 m (26 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery red. Werning has a good photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The front light of the range was replaced by a directional light on a concrete post (Admiralty A1831, NGA 7712); this former rear lighthouse is maintained as a range daybeacon. Located about 400 m (1/4 mi) from the harbor in Aber Wrac'h. Site status unknown, but the lighthouse can be seen from nearby streets. ARLHS FRA-785; ex-Admiralty A1831.1.
* Plouguerneau (feu postérieur) (1)
1845. Inactive since 1869. Square stone tower of the Église de St.-Pierre et St.-Paul. Guillaume Cingal has a closeup, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The tower was built in 1701, although the rest of the church is more recent. This tower carried the rear light of the Aber Wrac'h entrance range until the Lanvaon lighthouse was built. Located in Plouguerneau. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-783.
* Lanvaon (Plouguerneau feu postérieur (2))
1869. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); quick-flashing white light, intensified on and near the range line. 27 m (89 ft) 6-story square stone building with a peaked roof; the light is shown through a window on the top floor. Keeper's quarters were located in the tower. Building painted white with unpainted stone trim; on the side facing the range the peak of the building is painted with a large red triangular daymark. Werning has a good photo, Larry Myhre has another good photo, Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. When the range was established in 1845, the rear light was mounted on the church tower in Plouguerneau; this proved to be too far from the water to be clearly visible. Located off the D71 highway about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) west of Plouguerneau. Accessible by road, no parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-332; Admiralty A1826.1; NGA 114-7708.
La Palue Light
La Palue Light, Plouguerneau
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission
Île Wrac'h (Plouguerneau feu antérieur)
1845. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); quick-flashing red light. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with gallery, attached to the front of a 1-story stone keeper's house. The lantern was replaced by a short mast in 1973, when the lighthouse was automated and converted to wind power. Lighthouse painted white; gallery painted a brilliant orange as a daymark. Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, Werning has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on an island on the north side of the entrance to L'Aber Wrac'h. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-065; Admiralty A1826; NGA 114-7704.

La Manche (English Channel) Lighthouses

Île Vierge Lighthouses
Note: The International Hydrographic Organization defines the western limit of the English Channel to be the line joining Île Vierge to Lands End in Cornwall. The 6 hectare (15 acre) islet of Île Vierge, site of a 15th century monastery, is administered as part of the commune of Plouguereau.
* Île Vierge (1)
1845. Inactive since 1902. 31 m (102 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the center of a 2-story stone keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white; keeper's house is unpainted. Larry Myhre's photo is at right, and Bing has a satellite view. This is a tall lighthouse, but it proved to be not tall enough. Now it seems tiny compared to its mighty replacement. The old tower carries the station's fog horn (one 3 s blast every 60 s). The keeper's house is occupied; this is one of the few staffed stations remaining in France. Located on a small island about 1.5 km (1 mi) offshore at Lilia, northwest of Plouguerneau. Accessible only by boat. Site open April to September (tours available from Lilia), tower closed. ARLHS FRA-064.
**** Île Vierge (2)
1902 (station established 1845). Active; focal plane 77 m (253 ft); white flash every 5 s. 82.5 m (271 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery. The lighthouse is unpainted gray stone; lantern roof is weathered green. 1st order Fresnel lens. Larry Myhre's photo is at right, Werning has a photo, Trabas has a good photo, Wikimedia has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This is the tallest traditional masonry lighthouse ever built and the tallest lighthouse in Europe, designed to be visible at a distance of 50 km (31 mi). There are 365 steps to reach the gallery, 400 in all to reach the lantern room. Construction began in 1897 and required five years. The centennial of the lighthouse was celebrated in July 2002. A masterpiece of French architecture, the building has an elegance rarely seen in lighthouses; Jacque Witt's photos convey something of the style of the structure. Gaston Pigeaud began work on the design in the 1880s, and the plan was completed and supervised by Armand Considère; the contractor was Gustave Corre. This was one of the last staffed light stations in France; the last keepers were withdrawn on 29 October 2010. Tours to the island, normally including access to the lighthouse, are arranged by the Écomusée de Plouguerneau. The lighthouse was closed in 2013 for interior restoration work, but it reopens in July 2014. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower open to tours in July and August. ARLHS FRA-038; Admiralty A1822; NGA 114-7716.

Brignogan-Plage Lighthouse
* Pontusval (Pointe de Beg-Pol)
1869. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting three times every 12 s. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to the front of a 1-story stone keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black with a white roof. Larry Myhre's photo is at the top of the page, Guyomard and Carceller have photos, Werning has a fine photo, Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, another photo is available, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a point at the end of Route du Phare, about 2 km (1.2 mi) northwest of Brignogan-Plage. Parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-404; Admiralty A1820; NGA 114-7720.
Phares de l'Île Vierge
Île Vierge Lights, Plouguerneau, September 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre

Sibiril Lighthouse
* Moguériec (feu antérieur)
1861(?). Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white or green light, depending on direction, 2 s on, 2 s off. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern and gallery green. Trabas has a photo, Robert Nech has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This is typical nineteenth century prefabricated tourelle. The rear light, 440 m (1/4 mi) southwest, is a modern post light. Located at the end of the jetty in the harbor of Moguériec, a fishing port about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Roscoff. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-361; Admiralty A1818; NGA 114-7724.

Île de Batz and Roscoff Lighthouses
**** Île de Batz (2)
1836 (station established 1705). Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); four white flashes every 25 s; in addition a continuous red light is shown over a sector to the southwest. 43 m (141 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the center of a 1-story stone keeper's house. Light station includes several assistant keeper's houses and other buildings. A photo is at right, Pascal Méance has a nice photo, Trabas has a photo, Federico Lucchini has a panoramic photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse, a sibling of the 1835 Penmarc'h light in Southern Finistère, replaced a 1705 stone tower from which open fires were displayed. The Île de Batz is an inhabited island about 5 km (3 mi) long, located about 2 km (1.2 mi) northwest of Roscoff. The island is accessible from Roscoff by ferry. Located on the heights in the western portion of the island. Site open; tower open on weekends mid April through September and daily in July and August. ARLHS FRA-071; Admiralty A1816; NGA 114-7732.
** Roscoff (feu postérieur)
1917. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white light occulting three times, in a 2+1 pattern, every 12 s. 24 m (79 ft) square stone tower with castellated gallery and lantern. Seaward side of the tower painted white; lantern painted black. Werning has a great photo, Trabas has a fine photo by Arno Siering, Larry Myhre has a good photo, Pierre Cuzon has another photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The front light is on a post. Roscoff is the terminal for ferries arriving from Plymouth, England and Cork, Ireland; a new deep-water port was built for them on the east side of the town. Located on the traditional waterfront in Roscoff. Site open. Carceller and Jürgen Linde say the tower is open in the summer, but other sites say it is not; we need information on this. ARLHS FRA-461; Admiralty A1812.1; NGA 114-7752.
Ar Chaden
1912 (daybeacon built in 1865?). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); six quick flashes followed by one long flash, white or red depending on direction, every 15 s. 22 m (72 ft) solid round stone tower with gallery and a small cylindrical equipment room; light mounted on a short mast. Upper half of tower painted yellow, lower half black (the opposite of the Men-Guen-Bras tower). Werning has a good photo, Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located northeast of Roscoff, marking a group of rocky islets obstructing the approach to the harbor. Accessible only by boat; visible distantly from shore. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-782; Admiralty A1808; NGA 114-7740.
Men-Guen-Bras
1914 (daybeacon built in 1865). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); quick-flashing light, white, red, or green depending on direction. 20 m (66 ft) solid round stone tower with gallery and a small cylindrical equipment room; light mounted on a short mast. Upper half of tower painted black, lower half yellow. Werning has a fine photo, Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an islet about 500 m (0.3 mi) southeast of the Ar Chaden light and a short distance from shore. Accessible only by boat, but it is possible to get a good view from shore. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-781; Admiralty A1810; NGA 114-7744.
Phare de l'Île de Batz
Île de Batz Light, August 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Thesupermat

Carantec and Morlaix Lighthouses
Île Louët (feu antérieur)
1860 (replaced a 1794 daybeacon). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white or green light, depending on direction, occulting three times every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) square stone tower with lantern and gallery attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white with unpainted stone trim, lantern painted black. Additional 2-story keeper's house, built in 1910. A photo is at right, Werning has a photo, Trabas has a photo, Yann Caradec has a nice panoramic view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse is the front light for the Grand Chenal, the main channel entering the Baie de Morlaix; the Phare de la Lande is the rear light. Located on a small island on the west side of the entrance to the Rade de Morlaix from the Baie de Morlaix. Accessible only by boat, but there should be good views from the mainland east of Carentec. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-040; Admiralty A1800.1; NGA 114-7760.
* La Lande (feu postérieur)
1845 (replaced a 1775 daybeacon). Active; focal plane 85 m (279 ft); white flash every 5 s. 19 m (62 ft) square stone tower with lantern and gallery attached to the front of a 1-story stone keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white with unpainted stone trim, lantern painted black. Trabas has a photo by Ronald Wöhrn, Werning has a good photo from a different angle, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse is the common rear light for the Chenal de Tréguier (the entrance range for the Rade de Morlaix) and also for the Grand Chenal of the Baie de Morlaix. Located on the southwest side of the Rade de Morlaix about 2 km (1.2 mi) northeast of Locquénolé. Accessible by road, no parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-329; Admiralty A1800; NGA 114-7764.
Île Noire (feu antérieur)
1845 (replaced a 1775 daybeacon). Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white, red, or green light, depending on direction, occulting twice every 6 s. 13 m (43 ft) square stone tower with castellated gallery and a small lantern, attached to a 1-story stone keeper's house. Seaward side of the tower painted white; lantern is red. Trabas has a photo, Werning has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller also have photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This is the front light of the entrance range for the Rade (Roads) de Morlaix; the Phare de la Lande is the rear light. The keeper's house was added in 1879 to expand the crowded quarters available within the tower. In 1973 the lighthouse was automated and converted to wind power. Located in the center of the entrance, which is about 2 km (1.2 mi) wide, between Térénez and Carentec. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-045; Admiralty A1799.9; NGA 114-7768.
Phare de l'Île Louët
Île Louët Light, August 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Thesupermat

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Adjoining pages: East: Northeastern Brittany | South: Southern Finistère

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Posted August 29, 2005. Checked and revised April 6, 2014. Lighthouses: 38. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.