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Beachy Head Lighthouse
Beachy Head, East Sussex
associated engineer
Sir Thomas Matthews
date  September 1899 - April 1903
era  Victorian  |  category  Lighthouse  |  reference  TV581951
ICE reference number  HEW 77
Founded in chalk on a concrete apron, Beachy Head Lighthouse sits 550ft offshore from the 600ft high chalk cliffs that make up the headland. It was designed by Thomas Matthews, then Chief Engineer to Trinity House.
The lighthouse is made of fine grain Cornish granite, dovetailed horizontally and vertically, and set in courses 1ft 10in deep with three sixteenths of an inch mortar joints. The tower is solid up to a height of 10ft 6in above high water.
Its shape is part of an ellipse, the usual way to tackle sea-sited lighthouses at the time, following the model of Smeaton's tower at Eddystone. It is 112ft high, 47ft in diameter at the base and 18ft in diameter just below lantern level, where it corbels out to support the balcony.
A temporary platform on nine steel piles was erected for construction access. It was reached by aerial ropeway from the clifftop. A derrick crane provided the plumbline.
The light has been operated remotely from North Foreland Lighthouse since 1983.
Contractor: Bullivant & Co
reference sources   CEH South
Location

Beachy Head Lighthouse