Happisburgh lighthouse (pronounced "Haisbro") was built in 1791 to the design of William Wilkins for trinity house. The light, which is the oldest operational light in east anglia, flashes 3 times followed by 30 seconds of darkness and is visible for 18 nautical miles.
The 26 metre high stone tower is painted white with 3 red bands and a red roof.
When the light was automated in 1926 the keepers houses were sold and are now private residences. The lantern dates from 1863 and the current lens dates from 1868.
Originally one of a pair of lights marking the Haisborough Sands, this was the higher light - the lower light was deactivated and demolished in 1883 when it was threatened by coastal erosion - its lens is still in use, at Southwold lighthouse and its red brick foundations can be seen scattered on the beach.
One year after the low light was demolished, it was found that the surviving light needed to be more easily distinguished from the light at winterton during the daytime, so it was painted red and white for the first time in 1884 (Both towers used to be painted white)
The light was declared redundant in 1988 by trinity house, but local people who wanted the light to remain operational formed the 'Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust' and an act of parliament passed in 1990 allowed the trust to become the only privately run lighthouse authority in britain - it is a registered charity governed by six appointed Trustees who are responsible under the Act of Parliament for operating and maintaining the Light to the same standard as it would have been under the authority of Trinity House.