Cornish Lighthouses

Kernewek Golowji

Cornish Lighthouses

Tel: (01736) 786900

Cornwall's flashers


Visitors to Cornwall are not always aware of the dangers posed by the sea. Most come to this part of Cornwall and see the beautiful beaches and cliffs, when the sea is at its most peaceful.

Cornwall does have great weather for the majority of the time, but several times a year bad storms do occur, mainly during the winter. Additionally there are strong tides and currents, which can drive unwary shipping onto the coast or sea reefs out at sea. Cornwall has been the scene of many hundreds of shipwrecks over the years.

Nowadays technology has eliminated many of the dangers. This was not true of the past, especially when one considers that before the 18th century, shipping charts were incomplete, and did not even exist for all areas.

The main method employed to overcome coastal dangers are lighthouses. These light sources are located near danger areas such as hidden rocks, to act as navigation aids.

There have been light navigation aids in this area since the 14th century. The earliest were beacons, basically a fire. As technology was applied, coal burners were used, followed by oil burners. One of the first of these was located on St. Michael's Mount and operated by the church. Today's lighthouses are electrically powered. Lighthouses were once manned, today they are all now automated.

Automation in the modern context began in the early 1980's, made possible firstly by the construction of lantern top helipads at remote rock lighthouses, to enable the rapid transfer of technicians to a lighthouse in the event of a breakdown - and secondly, by the development of remote control technology which enables all lighthouses and lightvessels to be monitored and controlled from the Trinity House Central Planning Unit, in Harwich, Essex.

Lighthouse Location Map Reference Dates
Bishop Rock On a rock four miles off St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly SV807066 Built 1858, re-built 1887
Eddystone On a rock eight miles off Rame Head SX383336 Built 1698, re-built 1699, 1709, 1759, 1882
Fowey On Catherine's Point, Fowey SX119509 Built 1892, re-located 1904
Godrevy On Godrevy Island, St. Ives Bay SW577436 Built 1858, updated 1939
Lizard On shore at Lizard Point SW704116 Built 1619, abandoned 1623, re-built 1751
Longships On rocks one mile off Land's End SW320253 Built 1795, re-built 1873
Mevagissey On the southern breakwater at Mevagissey SX019448 Built 1896
Newlyn On the south pier, Newlyn SW467285 Built 1915
Pendeen On shore between St. Ives and Land's End SW379359 Built 1900, updated 1926
Peninnis Head On shore on St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly SV911093 Built 1911, updated 1992
Penzance On the south pier, Penzance SW479502 Built 1853
Polperro On Spy House Point, Polperro SX211507 Built 1911
Round Island On shore on Round Island, Isles of Scilly SV902178 Built 1887, updated 1967
St. Agnes On shore on St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly SV880083 Built 1680, updated 1790, disused since 1911
St. Anthony Head On shore at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour SW846311 Built 1835, updated 1954
St. Ives On Smeaton's pier, St. Ives SW521407 Built 1830, updated 1890
Seven Stones Lightship Moored seven miles north east of the Isles of Scilly SW106222 Built 1841, replaced 1958, 1967 and 2004
Tater Du On shore five miles east of Land's End SW440230 Built 1965, updated 1996
Trevose Head On shore three miles west of Padstow SW851766 Built 1847, updated 1882 and 1912
Wolf Rock On a rock nine miles south west of Land's End SW268120 Built 1869, updated 1955

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