Longships lighthouse, Lands End, Cornwall

longships lighthouse, lands end cornwall

The current lighthouse (seen above from Land's End, Cornwall) is the second tower to be built on these rocks 1.25 miles off Lands End

The original tower was built privately by Lieutenant Henry Smith in 1795 under licence from Trinity House. He was to run it on a lease for 50years, but soon after completion was for some reason declared incapable of operating the lighthouse, and Trinity House took over direct rule. This tower was built on the highest point of the largest island, but that was only 40 feet above sea level, and the tower itself was squat at 40 feet high. Hence the light was often obliterated by high seas.

Hence a taller tower was built between 1870 and 1873.

Even with the light, disasters occurred - the Bluejacket ran onto the rocks right under the lighthouse door, on a clear night in 1898

The original tower had non flashing Argand oil lights, but the new tower used pressurised vapour lamp with an incandescent mantle. The light is 10 seconds bright followed by 10 seconds dark. There is a red zone to landward. The light has a range of 19 miles, and there is a fog signal that blasts every 10 seconds

The lighthouse has been unmanned since 1967.


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