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Birthplace of Henry Winstanley
Winstanley House, The Cockpit, Saffron Walden, Essex
associated engineer
Henry Winstanley
date  baptised 31st March, 1644
era  Stuart  |  category  Birthplace of Engineer  |  reference  TL539383
Henry Winstanley, designer of the world's first offshore lighthouse -- built on Eddystone Rock -- is thought to have been born in this house. He was certainly baptised in Saffron Walden.
Winstanley was employed as ClECPK of Works at nearby Audley End by Charles II and during this time he lived at Littlebury, also in Essex, where he was known for the whimsical mechanisms he installed in his house.
In the 1690s, Plymouth became the main arsenal for the Royal Navy and it was decided to provide a light on Eddystone Rock, 9 miles SSW of Rame Head, where ships had come to grief in the past.
Work began in 1696 to Winstanley's design and the candles were lit on 14th November 1698. The lighthouse was strengthened in suceeding years as the lamp was swept away by high seas.
Winstanley was very confident of his design, so much so that he stayed in the lighthouse during the Great Storm of 1703, the worst storm that had been recorded in Britain. Poor Winstanley and his lighthouse were never seen again.
Successive lighthouses have been sited on Eddystone by Rudyard, Smeaton (now on Plymouth Hoe) and the Douglass Tower of 1882, which can be seen there today.
reference sources   BDCE1research
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Birthplace of Henry Winstanley