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The lighthouse on Round Island which is 2.5 miles north of St. Mary's, was built in 1887.
Round Island, the most northerly outpost of The Isles of Scilly is a 130 foot mass of granite, the top forming a platform on which Trinity House built a lighthouse and dwellings under conditions of extreme difficulty. The sheer rock face made the unloading of building materials almost impossible.
The height of the tower is only 46 feet up to the gallery lantern but it has a most commanding position. Originally it was provided with an aerial hoist to bring supplies up from the boat but it was removed during the 1970's. Today the only access, apart from by helicopter, is by a flight of steps out into the solid rock.
The enormous hyperradial optic used was fitted to only two other lighthouses at the beginning of the 20th century. The 10 wick burner which produced 2000 candlepower and designed by Sir James Douglass was replaced in 1967 with more modern apparatus. This in turn was replaced during the automation of the lighthouse in 1987 when the present equipment was installed. Round Island Lighthouse is monitored and controlled from the Trinity House Operational Control Centre in Harwich.
Cornish Lighthouses Cornwall's Shipwrecks The Isles of Scilly The Uninhabited Islands