Trevose Head Lighthouse

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Trevose Head Lighthouse


Trevose Head Lighthouse - - 38438.jpg
Trevose Head Lighthouse
Location: Trevose Head
Grid reference: SW850766
Location: 50°32’57"N, 5°2’7"W
Height: 90 feet
Tower shape: cylindrical tower
with balcony and lantern
attached to the keeper's house
Tower marking: white tower and lantern
Light: Fl W 7.5s.
Intensity: 279,000 candela
Focal height: 203 feet
Range: 21 nautical miles
Admiralty No.: A5638
Built 1847
Owned by: Trinity House
Website: Trevose Head Lighthouse

Trevose Head Lighthouse stands on Trevose Head on the north Cornish coast, to the west-south-west of Padstow. It was sited here as there was previously no light from Land's End to Lundy[1] and would be visible from Cape Cornwall to Hartland Point.[2]

After completion of the first tower, it was determined that the light was under certain circumstances liable to be mistaken by mariners. A second lower light[3] was therefore proposed and constructed 50 feet in front of the first light, with a covered passage between them for use by the lighthouse keepers.[1] Only the first built 'high' light now remains.

The tower is 90 feet tall and has a range of 20 nautical miles but, on a clear night, you can just spot the light from Pendeen Lighthouse, over 35 miles away ion the Penwith peninsula.


The newly built Trevose Head lighthouse from The Illustrated London News, 1847

The lighthouse was designed by engineer James Walker[3] and the two original lights, 'high' and 'low', were constructed under the supervision of Henry Norris [3] by builders Jacob & Thomas Olver of Falmouth [4][1][3] with the Fresnel lens supplied by Henry Lépaute of Paris [3] and the lamp with 4 concentric wicks & frame manufactured by Messrs. Wilkins & Co. of Long Acre.[1][3]

The site was surveyed by order of the Trinity Board in July 1844 with a design submitted that November and approved February 1845. Building began in that May with the laying out of the road and contract entered into with the builders the next month.[1] During gales on 20-21 November 1846 scaffolding attached to the tower was blown away.[5]

The light was first lit on 1 December 1847.[3][6]

In 1882 the 'high' light was changed to an occulting light and the 'low' light put out of use. In 1912 the light was again updated and work began on installing a 36-foot long fog horn, which came into service in 1913 and was itself replaced by a new horn in 1963. The lighthouse was automated and became unmanned in 1995.[7]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Trevose Head Lighthouse)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "The Illustrated London News". 16 October 1847. 
  2. "Royal Cornwall Gazette". 3 November 1843. p. 8. "Trevose Head is the only proper position for such lighthouse, as it is vible from all the coast between Cape Cornwall and Hartland Point" 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Lighthouse management : the report of the Royal Commissioners on Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, 1861, examined and refuted Vol. 2". pp. 92, 93. 
  4. "Royal Cornwall Gazette". 13 June 1845. p. 3. "FALMOUTH EXPRESS...Messrs. Olver, builders, of this town, have taken a contract to build the intended Lighthouse on Trevose Head, near Padstow, which is to be completed in about 11 months." 
  5. "Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette". 26 November 1846. p. 2. "The storm on Friday and Saturday last...much of the scaffolding attached to the Trevose Lighthouse was blown away" 
  6. "Woolmer's Exeter and Plymouth Gazette". 11 December 1847. p. 8. "The new light-house so long talked of on Trevose Head has at length been completed...The light was first exhibited on 1st instant." 
  7. Trinity House - Trevose Head
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