Longships Lighthouse

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Longships Lighthouse


Longships Lighthouse - geograph.org.uk - 188226.jpg
Longships lighthouse from the seaward side
Grid reference: SW319252
Location: 50°4’1"N, 5°44’48"W
Height: 115 feet
Tower shape: tapered cylindrical tower
with lantern and helipad
Tower marking: unpainted tower, white lantern
Light: Iso WR 10s.
Intensity: 14,400 candela
Focal height: 115 feet
Range: 15 nautical miles
Admiralty No.: A0028
Built 1875
Owned by: Trinity House

Longships Lighthouse stands on the hazardous Longships: a reef of rocks and islets enfolded by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean a mile and a quarter off Land's End at the westerrnmost tip of Cornwall. It stands 115 feet height on Carn Bras, the highest of the Longships islets, which rises 40 feet above high water level.

The lighthouse in an important aid to navigation and a warning of the rocks. It has been unmanned since 1988.

Though not far from the mainland, these rocks are in the open ocean, unprotected on the side of the prevailing wind. The cruel Atlantic storms frequently rage over the longships and the sight of waves bursting against and over the top of the lighthouse is commonplace in winter. That the lighthouse still stands against the force of such waves is a tribute to the Victorian engineers who built it.


Longships lighthouse

The original tower was built in 1795 to the design of Trinity House architect Samuel Wyatt. The lantern was 80 feet above sea level but very high seas obscured its light.[1]

In 1869 Trinity House began constructing a replacement.[2] The building of the present granite tower used much of the equipment that had previously been used in the construction of the Wolf Rock Lighthouse.[2] The tower was first lit in December 1873 having cost £43,870 to build.[2] Even after these improvements, the SS Bluejacket was wrecked on rocks near the lighthouse on a clear night in 1898, nearly demolishing the lighthouse in the process.


The current lantern, which has a range of 11 nautical miles, emits one long five-second flash every ten seconds. Seaward flashes are white but they become red - due to tinted sectors - for any vessel straying too close to either Cape Cornwall to the north or Gwennap Head to the south-southeast.

Fog horn signals sound every ten seconds.

The lighthouse and the rocks

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Longships)


  1. Trinity House: Longships Lighthouse
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nicholson, Christopher (1995). Rock lighthouses of Britain The end of an era?. Whittles Publishing. pp. 72–73. ISBN 1-870325-41-9. 
Lighthouses of Trinity House

Great Britain:
Anvil PointBamburghBardseyBeachy HeadBerry HeadBishop RockBull PointCaldey IslandCoquetCromerCrow PointDungenessEddystoneFarneFlamboroughFlatholmGodrevyHartland PointHilbre IslandHolyheadHurst PointGuile Point EastHeugh HillLizardLongshipsLongstoneLowestoftLundy NorthLundy SouthLynmouth ForelandMonkstoneMumblesNab TowerNash PointNeedlesNorth ForelandPendeenPeninnisPoint LynasPortland BillRound IslandRoyal SovereignSkerriesSkokholmSmallsSouth BishopSouth StackSouthwoldSt Anthony'sSt BeesSt Tudwal'sSt Anns HeadSt CatherinesStart PointStrumble HeadTater DuTrevose HeadTrwyn DuWhitbyWolf Rock

Channel Islands and Gibraltar:

CasquetsEuropa PointLes HanoisSark