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Map Ref: SW440230
Tater Du Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1965 as an automatic installation. It marks a headland on the south Cornwall coast to the west of Penzance, near to Lamorna Cove. A red sector light warns shipping of the Runnelstone Rocks.
After being the scene of many shipwrecks, the wreck of a Spanish coaster, the 'Juan Ferrer', proved to be the catalyst that was required to erect a lighthouse here. On the 23rd of October 1963 the 'Juan Ferrer', a small coaster ran aground on Boscawen point. The vessel capsized with the loss of 11 lives. The Newlyn and Mousehole Fisherman's association asked Trinity House to build a new light here to forestall future tragedies.
The 50 foot tall tower was designed by Trinity House, built by Messrs Humphreys Ltd of Knightsbridge and was fully automatic and un-manned from its beginning. The opening ceremony was performed on 7th July 1965 by The Duke of Gloucester who was then Master of Trinity House.
The navigation light is from an electric lamp operated from batteries and charged from the mains supply. There is also a back-up diesel generator.
The fog signal was originally a series (72 in total) of Tannoy units built into the lighthouse tower. This was replaced by a short-range Pharos Marine Omnidirectional electric emitter sounding the same characteristic of two one second blasts every 30 seconds during fog.
The lighthouse, which is built of white concrete blocks, was modernised in 1996.
The Lighthouse is now monitored and controlled from the Trinity House Operations Control Centre at Harwich in Essex.
Cornish Lighthouses Cornwall's Shipwrecks The Coastal Footpath