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Royal Sovereign Lighthouse
Royal Sovereign Shoal, 6 naut. miles off Eastbourne
associated engineer
I.C. Clingan
date  1971
era  Modern  |  category  Lighthouse  |  reference  TV719946
ICE reference number  HEW 734
The newest of Trinity House's lighthouses, Royal Sovereign was built to replace a lightvessel that marked the Royal Sovereign Shoal since 1875. It is the first UK lighthouse to have a helicopter pad incorporated as part of its design.
The unconventional T-shaped tower was built in sections on Newhaven beach and floated into place, a technique developed for building oil rigs. Construction began in 1970.
The tower's reinforced concrete caisson base and vertical pillar sections were floated into place that same year. The hollow caisson was flooded and sunk onto an area of levelled seabed.
In 1971, the superstructure and upper cabin section were floated over the pillar and held in place by tugs as the tide fell, allowing them to drop into place on the pillar, which had an inner telescopic section that was gradually jacked up 13m and locked into position. Twelve 150 ton jacks were used to achieve this.
The light itself stands on top of the cabin section at a height of around 28m above sea level, with the cabin located above the maximum theoretical wave height. The light has a range of 28 miles.
The flat roof of the cabin, with the light set off to one side, serves as the helicopter landing pad. Helicopters provide access for servicing and maintaining the lighthouse.
The light was automated and converted to solar power in 1994. In 1997 the lighthouse a Concrete Society Certificate of Excellence.
Construction: Christani and Nielsen
Research: PS
bibliography
"The Lighthouses of Trinity House"
Richard Woodman + Jane Wilson
Bradford on Avon, Thames Reed Publications, 2002
"Lighthouses: their Architecture, History + Archaeology"
Douglas B. Hague + Rosemary Christie
LLandysul, Gomer Press, 1975
www.trinityhouse.co.uk
www.eastbourne.co.uk
reference sources   CEH south
Location

Royal Sovereign Lighthouse