timeline item
Here is the information we have
on the item you selected
More like this
© 2020 Engineering Timelines
engineering timelines
explore ... how   explore ... why   explore ... where   explore ... who  
home  •  NEWS  •  search  •  FAQs  •  references  •  about  •  sponsors + links
Old Lundy Lighthouse
Lundy Island, Bristol Channel, 21km north west of Hartland Point, Devon
associated engineer
Daniel Asher Alexander
date  1820
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Lighthouse  |  reference  SS131443
Lundy Island is an outcrop of dark granite in the Bristol Channel off the coast of North Devon, some 5.6km long and 1.2km wide, surrounded by sharp rocky reefs. Because of the danger to shipping, Daniel Alexander was commissioned to design a lighthouse for the highest point of the island, known as Beacon Hill or Chapel Hill. It was completed in 1820.
There are three lighthouses on the island, one to the north, one to the south and the decommissioned Old Lighthouse on high ground between, which is now owned by the Landmark Trust.
Alexander's tower is 29.3m high, constructed in unpainted granite and topped by a white-painted lantern house and gallery. Adjacent and connected to it is a double-storey building housing two keeper's cottages, with another single-storey keeper's cottage nearby.
The lighthouse was commissioned by Trinity House, the lighthouse authority for England and Wales. It cost £10,277 and was completed in 1820.
Two lights were shown from the tower at elevations of 155m and 164m above sea level respectively. The lower was a fixed white light, while the upper was a white light that flashed rapidly — at 60 second intervals, an innovation at the time. Unfortunately, the upper light flashed so quickly that it appeared fixed, and from 8km away both lights merged into one.
It is reported that the ship La Jeune Emma, travelling from Martinique to Cherbourg during thick fog in November 1828, mistook Lundy’s lights for that of Ushant and was wrecked on the rocks in Carmarthen Bay. One of the 13 dead was a niece of the Empress Josephine. Six people survived.
Complaints that the lights were invisible in fog led to the abandonment of the lighthouse in 1897. Its replacements date from 1893 and are still going strong.
Lundy Island is now owned by the National Trust. The lighthouse tower is open to the public.
Superintendent of works: James Turnbull
Main contractor: Joseph Nelson
reference sources   CEH South

Old Lundy Lighthouse