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Longships Lighthouse (1875)
Carn Bras, Land's End, Cornwall
associated engineer
Sir James Nicholas Douglass
date  1872 -1875
era  Victorian  |  category  Lighthouse  |  reference  SW320253
ICE reference number  HEW 1358
The Longships Lighthouse is situated on the Carn Bras rock 2km west of Landís End, Cornwall — a treacherous place for ships in a storm as it is ringed with rocks. The present lighthouse is the second on the site.
The original lighthouse had been built under licence from Trinity House (the lighthouse organisation for coastal England and Wales) by Lieutenant Henry Smith in 1795 to designs by Samual Wyatt. The tower wasn't very high and proved inadequate. For this reason, and possibly because of the deterioration of the rock on which it was founded, a replacement became necessary.
James Douglass, the then Engineer-in-Chief of Trinity House, designed the new lighthouse, using grey granite for the tapered circular tower. Its base is 13.7m above high water level and its gallery is 26.2m above that. The diameter at the base is 8.23m and that at the top 5.18m. The wall are some 3m thick at the base and three quarters of a metre thick at the top of the tower.
The lantern is 5.5m high and 4.3m in diameter. The lamp flashes 10 seconds bright followed by 10 seconds dark. It has a range of 25-30km. It's optic is a first order dioptric type. If necessary, a fog signal can sound every 10 seconds, though these days, the UK's fog signals are rarely if ever used since satellite navigation has become widely available.
The presence of the lighthouse has not prevented every disaster — the vessel Bluejacket ran aground almost on the foundations of the tower during a clear night in 1898.
The four lighthouse keepers moved out permanently in 1967 and the lamp was fully automated in 1988. A helipad has been installed atop the tower.
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH South

Longships Lighthouse (1875)