Egypt Point Lighthouse
Egypt Point is the most northerly point of the Isle of Wight and sticks out into the solent, just off of East Cowes; the Island's only main port.
To mark the point, Trinity House built the beacon seen today. The unusual structure, consisting of a pole supporting a gallery, rising from a small shed-like building was erected in 1897 and it's light first shone on 1st December.
Originally a lantern stood atop the tower and contained a rotating Fresnel Lens driven by weights that were manually wound up on a regular basis. The weights fell down the inside of the pole gradually, resulting in the lens turning and producing a flashing white light every ten seconds; a three second flash with an eclipse of seven seconds. The light was visible for 10 miles in clear weather.
The source of the light was originally fuelled by Paraffin, although it was converted to Acetylene operation in 1925; this gave a clearer and more pure white light and burned more efficiently, allowing for the light to be un-watched and converted to semi-automatic operation, only requiring refuelling.
1969 saw the lantern's removal from the tower, after which it was put into storage. A new light was exhibited using electricity, which did away with moving parts and the requirement for refuelling and winding of the clockwork weights - this is when the light became fully automatic.
The Lighthouse, which is now one of the best places to view part of the 'Round the Island Race' from, was discontinued in 1989 and was then sold to the Isle of Wight Council for use as a local landmark and daymark.