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The Needles Lighthouse
Western tip of the Isle of Wight, UK
The Needles Lighthouse
associated engineer
James Walker
date  1855 - 1859
era  Victorian  |  category  Lighthouse  |  reference  SZ288848
photo  PHEW
A sea-level lighthouse built in 1855 to replace a 1786 version. The earlier light, being on higher ground, was often obscured by low cloud.
The Needles Lighthouse is 72ft 9in high to the gallery with a consistent diameter of 21ft: a departure from the tapering design of sea lighthouses pioneered by John Smeaton at Eddystone a hundred years earlier.
The base is concrete faced with masonry and is sunk into chalk at 4ft below low water. On a stepped plinth stands the tower with walls 3ft 6in thick at base and 2ft thick at top. The octagonal lantern housing is supported by a 23ft diameter balcony with masonry parapet.
The construction of the concrete and masonry tower is different from traditional, keyed masonry blocks: rather than being grooved and intersected at top and sides, each stone has a groove at top and bottom. These are filled with cement, forming a ring around the tower.
There are five floors inside the tower, each supported by a system of wrought iron joists sunk into the walls. The light shines at 80ft above high tide level, at a strength of 35,000 candle power. It was first fired in 1859.
reference sources   LG/SJ
Location

The Needles Lighthouse