Eddystone Lighthouse, Cornwall

Eddystone Lighthouse, Cornwall

The Eddystone Rocks are a dangerous reef 8 miles off Rame Head, Cornwall. The present tower is the 5th lighthouse to be built here

The first tower was built by  Henry Winstanley out of Cornish granite, and completed in 1698. This lighthouse was virtually re-built a year later as it needed strengthened against the forces of the sea. The second tower survived just 4 years, before being demolished in a winter storm in November 1703, among with Winstanley who was in the lighthouse that night.

John Rudyerd built the 3rd tower, which was completed in 1708. This was built with a tapering tower, heavy ballast and even a ships mast up the middle to give it flexibility. A successful design, it lasted 47 years, until the candles used for the light, set fire to the roof and burnt the tower down

The 4th tower was built by Smeaton between 1756 and 1759 out of granite blocks, dovetailed to fit together and make one structure. This tower used candles for its light at first, then changed to an Argand oil lamp in 1810. This tower stood for 127 years, until signs of cracking on its base rock caused the need for a 5th tower. Smeeton's old tower was dismantled piece by piece and re-erected on Plymouth Hoe, where it still is today.

James Douglass then designed the 5th tower, completed in 1882, and still in use today. Its original oil powered lamps were replaces in 1956 by electrics. A helicopter deck added in 1980, and the station became automated and unmanned in 1982

The light flashes two whites every 10 seconds, with a range of 24 miles. The is a subsidiary fixed red over a 17 degree arc marking a dangerous reef, the Hand Deep. The fog signal blasts three every 60 seconds

Henry Winstanley and the Eddystone Lighthouse

Eddystone, the finger of light

 

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