Lighthouses of the Turks and Caicos Islands
and Caicos Islands are located at the southeastern end of the
Bahamas archipelago. At one time they were governed as part of
the Bahamas, but in 1874 they were detached and placed under the
Governor of Jamaica. When Jamaica became independent in 1962, the
Turks and Caicos became a separate British overseas territory with
its capital at Grand Turk. The population is roughly 36,000. There
is only one major lighthouse, but it is a very historic lighthouse,
one of the oldest cast iron lights in the Western Hemisphere.
There is a modern cruise ship terminal at Grand Turk. Aids to navigation in the islands are probably the responsibility of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Communications.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of
the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List
numbers are from Publication 110.
- General Sources
- Online List
of Lights - Turks and Caicos Islands
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.
in Turks and Caicos Islands
- Photos available from Wikimedia.
- Lighthouses in Caribbean
- Aerial photos from Marinas.com.
Mittelamerikas und der Karibik auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
- * South
Caicos (Cockburn Harbour)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); continuous white
light. 4.5 m (15 ft) rectangular white concrete tower; the light,
shown through a window, is visible only to the southeast. Brian
Brake has a photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view.
The light guides vessels approaching a narrow opening in the Caicos reef. Located on the southeastern tip of South Caicos Island. Site open,
tower closed. Admiralty J4808; NGA 12392.
Grand Turk Light, April 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Greg Stokes
- * Grand
- 1852 (Alexander Gordon). Reactivated (1998); focal plane 33 m (108
ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 18 m (60 ft) cast iron tower, painted
white, attached to kerosene storage house. A 4th order Fresnel
lens (1943) from the lighthouse is on display at the Turks
and Caicos National Museum. The keeper's house and kitchen
also survive. Greg Stokes's photo is above, Reef News also has a good page with closeup photos, the local tourism office has two excellent photos,
Trabas has a photo by Douglas Cameron, Wikimedia has a photo, Marinas.com has excellent aerial
photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a clouded satellite
view, and Lighthouse Digest has an article on earlier unsuccessful efforts to restore the lighthouse to kerosene
power. The lighthouse was prefabricated in London by Chance Brothers;
it is a very rare example of this early design in cast iron. After
many years of neglect, the lighthouse was partially restored in
1998. In 2006, Carnival Corp., the cruise line holding company,
granted funds to repaint and refurbish the lighthouse, keeper's
cottage, and other light station buildings. This was part of much
larger investment to develop Grand Turk as a regular stop for cruise
ships. The results of the restoration are seen in Lindsay Blackburn's photo.
Grand Turk suffered considerable damage from Hurricane Ike in September
2008, but a photo taken after the hurricane shows that the lighthouse survived (though
it needed repainting). The lighthouse was repainted in 2012. Located at the northern tip of Grand Turk Island; accessible
by road. Cruise ships calling at the island offer tours that include
the light station. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Turks and
Caicos National Trust. ARLHS TCI-001; Admiralty J4812; NGA 12408.
- [Big Sand Cay (1)]
- Date unknown. Inactive. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, now rusted
and lying on its side. The light was replaced by a short post light (focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 2 s). Jan Buskop has a photo
(almost halfway down the page) and reports that that light was not operating as of early 2008. Google has only a distant satellite
view of the cay. This light marked the southernmost point of the Turks and Caicos
Islands, about 25 km (15 mi) south southwest of Grand Turk Island. Accessible
only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J4818; NGA 12432.
Adjoining pages: South: Haiti | West: Bahamas
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Posted September 16, 2005. Checked and revised September 2, 2012. Lighthouses: 2. Site copyright 2012 Russ Rowlett and the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.