Modern Dungeness Lighthouse
East of the power station, Dungeness, Kent, UK
Philip W. Hunt
ICE reference number
This lighthouse was built to replace the 1904 tower at Dungeness. The usefulness of the older one was compromised by the building of the nuclear power station, which obscured its lamp from the direction of Rye Bay.
The then Engineer-in Chief of Trinity House, Philip Hunt, was commissioned to design the lighthouse. He used an innovative technique for its construction -- using precast concrete rings.
The stacked rings each measure 1.5m high, are 15cm thick and 3.6m in diameter. They are strengthened by tensioned steel cables on the inside. The tower's distinctive black and white bands were created by colouring the concrete during casting.
This is the first lighthouse to employ a xenon electric arc lamp for its light. However, it proved less effective than hoped and this, together with the increasing difficulty of obtaining spare parts, meant that it was replaced by an AGA gearless pedestal revolving sealed-beam lamp in the early 1970s. This change was supervised by I.C. Clingan, a later Engineer-in-Chief to Trinity House.
The lighthouse was automated in 1991. Further modernisation was undertaken in 2000, when the sealed-beam light was replaced with an optic transferred from Lundy South Lighthouse, reducing the light's range from 27 to 21 miles.
Modern Dungeness Lighthouse is the fifth lantern known to have existed at Dungeness and one of three that survive.
Contractor: Taylor Woodrow Construction Co.
"The Lighthouses of Trinity House"
by Richard Woodman + Jane Wilson
Bradford on Avon, Thames Reed Publications, 2002
"Lighthouses: their Architecture, History + Archaeology"
by Douglas B. Hague + Rosemary Christie
LLandysul, Gomer Press, 1975