Lighthouses of Guernsey

The Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British territory in the Channel Islands, located just west of France's Cotentin Peninsula on the south side of the English Channel. The principal islands of the bailiwick are Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark. Legally, Guernsey is a self-governing territory recognizing the British queen in her capacity as Duke of Normandy. It is not part of the United Kingdom, and it is not part of the European Union, although it falls within the EU customs union and common travel area.

The islands are popular tourist destinations, accessible by air (except for Sark) or by ferries from several ports in England and in France. Ferries also operate between the islands.

Trinity House, the British lighthouse corporation, operates several of the major lighthouses, the others being operated by the Guernsey Harbour Authority. Special thanks to Mr. Peter Gill, the Guernsey Harbour Master, for correcting a number of errors concerning these lights.

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

General Sources
Trinity House
Chartered by Henry VIII in 1514, Trinity House has built and operated lighthouses in Britain for nearly 500 years.
Online List of Lights - Channel Islands
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Phares d'Europe
Photos posted by Robert Carceller and Alain Guyomard as part of their Phares du Monde web site.
Lighthouses in Guernsey
ARLHS listing for Guernsey; amateur radio operators have provided photos of many of the lights.
Lighthouses in Guernsey
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Luechtürme auf Briefmarken
Lighthouse postage stamps from around the world, including many of the Channel Islands lighthouses, posted by Klaus Huelse. Huelse also has a page of historic postcard views, Britische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten.

Alderney Light
Alderney Light, Alderney, August 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Dave Wilson

English Channel Lightship
Trinity House Lightship Channel
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 15 s. Steel lightship; the light is displayed from a large lantern on a skeletal tower amidships. Vessel painted red. Fog horn (blast every 20 s). No current photo available, but there is an undated photo of a lightship on this station. The ship marks the western end of the Casquets Traffic Separation Scheme governing ships sailing through the English Channel. Located in the Channel about 43 km (27 mi) northwest of Guernsey and 55 km (34 mi) southeast of Start Point, Devon, on the English coast. Accessible only by boat. Site open, vessel closed. ARLHS ENG-268; Admiralty A1520; NGA 8268.

Guernsey Lighthouses
Les Hanois
1862 (James Douglass). Active; focal plane 34 m (110 ft); two white flashes, separated by 3.2 s, every 13 s. 36 m (177 ft) tapered granite tower incorporating keeper's quarters, with lantern, gallery, and a helipad above the lantern. Lighthouse painted white. Fog horn (2 blasts every 60 s). A Trinity House photo is at right, Dan Edmunds has a good closeup, Trabas has Thomas Philipp's photo, and a view from the mainland is available, but Google has only a distant satellite view. The lighthouse was the first to be built with granite blocks interlocking both laterally and vertically, a design by James Douglass that became the standard for waveswept towers. Located on a rocky reef at the southwestern point of the island, marking the westernmost point of the Channel Islands. Accessible only by helicopter, but visible from many points on land. Site and tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS GUE-001; Admiralty A1580; NGA 8180.
Platte Fougère
1910. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft) (?); one long (1.3 s) flash, white or red depending on direction, every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower, painted white with one black horizontal band. No lantern. Fog horn (blast every 45 s). Kevin Lajoie has a closeup photo, Trabas has a distant photo by Kees Aalbersberg, and Huelse has a historic postcard view, but Google's distant satellite view doesn't show the tower. The lighthouse was restored in 1999. The NGA gives the focal plane as 15 m (50 ft); this appears to be a typo. Located about 2 km (1.2 mi) off the northeastern point of the island. Accessible only by boat, but visible from land at Fort Doyle. Site and tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-006; Admiralty A1548; NGA 8184.
[Tautenay]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); three quick flashes, white or red depending on direction, every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) stone tower, painted with black and white vertical stripes. Trabas has a distant view by Klaus Potschein, and Google has a distant satellite view. This appears to be an early nineteenth century daybeacon fitted with a modern light. Located about 5 km (3 mi) east of the northeastern point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-013; Admiralty A1548.5; NGA 8188.

Les Hanois Light, Guernsey, 2008
Trinity House photo
Roustel (Little Russel) (2)
1970 (station established 1923). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); quick-flashing white light. 8 m (26 ft) triangular steel skeletal tower mounted on a concrete base. Base painted in a black and white checkered pattern; the tower carries a black vertically slatted daymark. Trabas has a photo by Kees Aalbersberg, photo is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. The base is from the original lighthouse, a concrete tower demolished by a collision with the MV Winchester in February 1970. Located on a rock off the island of Herm, marking the channel between Herm and Guernsey. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-012; Admiralty A1552; NGA 8192.
[Platte]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (21 ft); flash, white or red depending on direction, every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) conical stone tower, painted bright green. A photo is available, Trabas has a closeup by Kees Aalbersberg, and Bing has a satellite view. This appears to be an early nineteenth century daybeacon fitted with a modern light. Located about 1 km (0.6 mi) off the northeastern shore of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-014; Admiralty A1550; NGA 8196.
Brehon Tower
1856. Active; focal plane 19 m (56 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. Light mounted atop a circular stone fort. The light can be seen at the right end of the tower in the photo at right. A 2011 photo is available, Trabas has Klaus Potschien's photo, Alli Cleal has another closeup photo of the fort, Ian Young has another photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The fort was manned for half a century, and German troops used it as an observation post during World War II. Located about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of St. Peter Port. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-011; Admiralty A1559; NGA 8212.
* St. Sampson South Pier Range Rear
1874. Active; focal plane 13 m (42 ft); continuous green light. 12 m (39 ft) 4-story square stone clock tower; the light is shown through a square window in the peaked roof. ARLHS has a great photo, and Trabas has a 2012 photo by Klaus Potschien, and Bing has a distant satellite view. The tower was built as the harbor master's office, but it was located specifically so that it could serve also as the rear range light. The front light is on a short pierhead mast. Located on the south side of the harbor at St. Sampson. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-008; Admiralty A1558.1; NGA 8224.

Brehon Tower Light, St. Peter Port, August 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Graham and Dairne
* Crocq Pierhead
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); continuous red light. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower mounted on a circular 1-story stone equipment shelter. The light is displayed through a window at the top of the cast iron tower, which is painted bright red; the stone base is unpainted. ARLHS has a closeup photo, Trabas has a 2012 photo by Klaus Potschien, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of a pier in the harbor of St. Sampson. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-016; Admiralty A1554; NGA 8228.
* White Rock Pier
1908. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green light, 4 s on, 1 s off. 10 m (32 ft) cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery. Trabas has a good photo by Klaus Potschien, a historic postcard view is also available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Tower unpainted; lantern roof painted white. Located at the end of the pier on the north side of the entrance to St. Peter Port. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-010; Admiralty A1562; NGA 8252.
* Victoria Marina (Range Front)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red light occulting once every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern. The lighthouse is painted white, except the seaward face of the lantern is painted red. ARLHS has a closeup photo, Trabas has a photo by Klaus Potschien, and Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Laure Chappuis, but the tower is hard to distinguish in Bing's indistinct satellite view of the pier. Located on the Victoria Pier in St. Peter Port. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-009; Admiralty A1569; NGA 8248.
* Castle Breakwater (St. Peter Port New Harbour Range Front)
1850s (?). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); continuous light, showing white for 7.5 s, red for 2.5 s. 12 m (40 ft) granite tower with lantern and gallery. The northeast face of the lighthouse (facing the entrance channel) is painted white, and vertical black and white stripes are painted on the head of a pier to make a more conspicuous daymark. Joe Dunckley's photo is at right, ARLHS has a great photo of the unpainted side of the lighthouse, Guyomard and Carceller have photos, Trabas has a photo by Thomas Philipp, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. The rear range, known as the Belvedere Light, is on a short metal tower on the hill behind the town. Located at the end of the breakwater at St. Peter Port. Accessible by walking the breakwater. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-005; Admiralty A1560; NGA 8232.
* St. Martin's Point (Jerbourg Point)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); three flashes every 10 s, white or red depending on direction. 5 m (17 ft) square 1-story equipment building, painted white; the light is displayed from a short post on the roof. Trabas has Thomas Philipp's photo, Dave Sauvarin has a photo, Dan Edmunds has a photo showing a wintry sea, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of Guernsey. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Guernsey Harbour Authority. ARLHS GUE-007; Admiralty A1574; NGA 8256.

Castle Breakwater Light, St. Peter Port, July 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Joe Dunckley

Sark Lighthouse
* Sark (Point Robert)
1913. Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); white flash every 15 s. 17 m (55 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower rising from 2-story keeper's house; entire structure painted white. Fog horn (2 blasts every 30 s). Paula Funnell's photo is at right, ARLHS has a good photo, Wikimedia has a photo, Will Hinsley has a view from above, Trabas has Helmut Seger's view from the sea, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Sark is a small island (5 km by 2 km) located east of Guernsey and accessible by passenger ferry from St. Peter Port; transportation on the island is by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage. Located on a cliff at the northeastern point of the island; accessible by a staircase of 165 steps down from the top of the cliff. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS GUE-003; Admiralty A1544; NGA 8260.

Alderney Lighthouses
Casquets (triple towers)
1723 (height increased in 1854). Active; focal plane 37 m (120 ft); five white flashes, separated by 3.7 s, every 30 s. 23 m (75 ft) cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands; lantern painted red. A Trinity House photo is at right, Marinas.com has good aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and David Coldrey's distant view shows the isolation of the station. Bing has only a fuzzy satellite view of the islands. The Casquets are a group of rocks about 13 km (8 mi) west of Alderney. The active tower is the northwesternmost of three towers built in 1723-24. The remaining two towers have been inactive since 1877. The cylindrical southwestern tower, truncated and painted white, is now topped by a helipad. The square cylindrical east tower, unpainted, houses a fog horn (2 blasts every 60 s). During World War II the Germans used the light station as an observation post and transmitter site, which attracted commando raids by British forces in 1942 and 1943. Accessible only by helicopter. Site and towers closed. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS GUE-002; Admiralty A1532; NGA 8264.
** Alderney
1912. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2.3 s, every 15 s. 32 m (106 ft) stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with a single broad black horizontal band, attached to 1-story stone keeper's quarters. The keeper's house is occupied by a resident warden who conducts tours of the light station. Dave Wilson's photo appears at the top of this page, another fine closeup is available, Trabas has a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. Alderney is a small island about 32 km (20 mi) northeast of Guernsey, accessible by air or by ferry. The lighthouse guards the Alderney Race (Raz Blanchard), the 16 km (10 mi) wide channel between Alderney and Cap de la Hague, the northwest corner of the Cotentin Peninsula. The Race has some of the fastest and most dangerous tidal currents in the world. Notwithstanding these hazards, in March 2011 Trinity House discontinued the station's foghorn and replaced its light with a much weaker one. This has led to protests from the harbormasters of Alderney and Guernsey. Located on Quénard Point, the northeastern end of Alderney. Accessible by car or by the Alderney Railway, a tourist attraction in itself. Site open; tower open to guided tours on weekends and bank holidays, or by appointment for groups of 8 or more. Operator: Trinity House. ARLHS GUE-004; Admiralty A1536; NGA 8300.


Point Robert Light, Sark, June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Paula Funnell

Casquets Light
Casquets Light, Alderney
Trinity House photo

Information available on lost lighthouses:

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Notable faux lighthouses:

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Adjoining pages: East: Basse-Normandie | South: Jersey

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Posted August 16, 2004. Checked and revised May 7, 2013. Lighthouses: 15; lightships: 1. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.