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Whitby Lighthouse
Ling Hill, Whitby, North Yorkshire
associated engineer
James Walker
Michael Faraday
date  1858
era  Victorian  |  category  Lighthouse  |  reference  NZ903113
One of three lights at Whitby — the other two are on the West and East Piers respectively. Whitby Lighthouse was constructed by Trinity House in 1858.
In late 1858 a Royal Commission on lighthouses was established under the chairmanship of Admiral William A.B. Hamilton and John Campbell as secretary. In addition to collecting oral and written evidence, the Commission also visited many lighthouses in Britain and France. Furthermore, they commissioned experiments on various proposals to improve the effectiveness of lighthouses, particularly their optical systems, and the Whitby lighthouse was chosen as the site for these tests.
The new systems were made by the Birmingham glass maker James Timmins Chance working with the scientific Adviser to Trinity House, Michael Faraday, who also played a key role in evaluating for the Commission, the effectiveness of the various systems.
The orginal lighthouse complex consisted of two towers, aligned north-south. They displayed fixed lights indicating the position of Whitby Rock. In 1890, a more efficient lamp system was installed in the smaller of the two towers and the other went out of service.
Today, Whitby Lighthouse is a low octagonal brick tower, painted white and accompanied by attached buildings. It is only 13m high but its hill-top location makes it 73m above mean high water level and its light visible up to 22 miles off the coast.
The light was electrified in 1976 and automated in 1992. It is currently controlled from the Trinity House control centre in Harwich. Trinity House is responsible for the operation of 72 lighthouses around the British coast.
Research: FJ, JJ
bibliography
www.trinityhouse.co.uk
Location

Whitby Lighthouse