Lighthouses of the British Virgin Islands
The Territory of the Virgin Islands, better known as the British Virgin Islands, is a self-governing British overseas territory
located just to the east of the U.S. Virgin Islands at the northeastern corner of the Caribbean Sea. Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada are the principal islands of the territory, but there are many smaller islands. The population is about 28,000.
The territory has never had a traditional lighthouse, and the status of its smaller lights is somewhat uncertain. Navigational aids in the territory are presumably maintained by the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority.
Needless to say, we need better information on these 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
- NOAA Chart 25641 - Virgin Islands
- The U.S. navigation chart for the U.S. Virgin Islands also covers most of the British islands.
Ruins of Pajaros Point Light, Virgin Gorda, 2014
photo copyright Alisha Raish; permission requested
- * Roadtown Range Front (?)
- Date unknown (station established early 1900s). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); continuous red light. The NGA List describes these range lights as being on an "administration building." Presumably this would be the BVI Port Authority Building at the government docks in Roadtown, the principal port of Tortola. However, Kareem Stout's 2008 photo of this building does not reveal any lights. Google has a satellite view. Located at the BVIPA ferry terminal, south of the cruise ship terminal at Roadtown. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J5635; NGA 14696.
- * Roadtown Range Rear (?)
- Date unknown (station established early 1900s). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); continuous red light. The NGA List also describes this light as being on an "administration building." Located 40 m (131 ft) west southwest of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J5635.1; NGA 14696.1.
- * Bellamy Cay (?)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane not listed; continuous white light. Described by NGA as a "white mast." There is a conspicuous white mast mounted at one end of the Last Resort Restaurant and Bar on the cay, but no light is seen on the mast in Roy Reed's 2008 photo. Google has a satellite view. Located on a tiny cay just off the Tortola airport. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J5636.5; NGA 14699.
- Salt Island
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 5 m (17 ft) post mounted on a small equipment shelter. Lighthouse painted white. A very distant view shows the light atop the island, but the small light is not seen in Google's satellite view. This light guides vessels approaching Roadtown from the south. Located at the highest point of Salt Island, about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Tortola. Site status unknown. Admiralty J5636; NGA 14708.
- [Ginger Island]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 152 m (499 ft); white flash every 5 s. 4 m (13 ft) yellow tower. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the northeastern tip of Ginger Island, a high and uninhabited island about 8 km (5 mi) southwest of Virgin Gorda. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed (the island is privately owned). Admiralty J5637; NGA 14704.
- [Pajaros Point (Virgin Gorda)]
- Date unknown. Inactive as of early 2014; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. Ruined post. Alisha Raish's photo is above; the post rusted and collapsed, perhaps during a hurricane. It has been out of service at least since 2011. The small light is not seen in Google's satellite view. This light marks the extreme eastern end of the Virgin Islands. Located on heights at the eastern end of Virgin Gorda. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J5633; NGA 14700.
- * Anegada (West End) (?)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 10 s. No description and no photo available. Anegada is a low island, so the focal plane would imply a tower of some kind, but no tower has been found in Google's satellite view or in Walker Mangum's aerial view of the point. Located at the west end of Anegada. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J5632.5; NGA 14702.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: Anguilla | West: U.S. Virgin Islands
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Posted November 11, 2014. Checked and revised December 1, 2016. Lighthouses: 5(?). Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.