Worldwide Lighthouses

Spurn (New) Lighthouse

Spurn (New)

General Information


Established: 1427

Current Lighthouse Built: 1895

Height: 39 Metres (127.95 Feet)

Automated: 1957

Operator: Spurn Point wildlife trust

Designer: Sir Thomas Matthews

Light Information


White: 19 Nautical Miles

White (Sector): Nautical Miles Between (311°) and (325°)

Red (Sector): Nautical Miles Between (325°) and (358°)

The taller of the two existing lighthouses on Spurn Point is a 39 metre high brick tower that was built in 1895, designed by Sir Thomas Matthews to replace a pair of lights that when alligned marked safe entry in and out of the River Humber, which is partially obstructed by the 3 mile long spit, known as Spurn Point.

When cracks started to appear in the higher of the two older towers, it was decided that they should be replaced, so the old high lighthouse was demolished. The low light did not need to be demolished and still stands to this day, despite having been deactivated in 1895.

The large black and white tower that can be seen today was first lit on January 1st 1871 and was witnessed only by its designer and a few brethrin of trinity house, after which they sailed out to see the light from the sea, to check that all of the lights functioned correctly and marked the safe channels reliably.

The light gave one flash every twenty seconds, thus, one flash of two seconds duration followed by an eclipse of 18 seconds. In clear weather the light was visible for 17 nautical miles.

The fixed sectors were exhibited from a large window about 18 metres up the tower and were red and white; The white sector shone over the Chequer Shoal and the Red light covered the Sand Haile Buoy.

Despite the new tower being built on its own and without another light accompanying it, it is sometimes called the 'high light'- but this is incorrect as instead of building a second tower, as had been done for many years here and at other many other lighthouse sites around the coast, sector lights were used to mark the channels and dangers, positioned lower down in the tower.

The main white light at the top of the tower was powered by Acytelene and for much of the lights operation was kept lit by keepers that lived in houses beside the tower, protected by the circular compound walls of the original High Lighthouse.

On January 17th 1957 the tower was converted to semi-automatic operation, still being watched and maintained by lifeboat men who were responsible for drawing the curtains in the lantern during the daytime, to prevent the lighting aparatus from catching fire - at this time the keepers houses and all the other lighthouse associated buildings near by were demolished.

In 1985 Trinity House decided it was no longer nessecary for a lighthouse to be lit at spurn point and so it was announced that it was to be discontinued on March 25th - not long after, on December 11th, the Spurn Lightship was removed from its station, bringing 558 years of light on spurn point to an end.

Today, the paintwork of the lighthouse is chipping but the lighthouse is still standing and seems to be in no danger.

The low light, built in 1776 on the humber-side beach remains standing, but is topped by a water tank in place of its lantern.

The wall which once surrounded the old high light, still remains, but is overgrown and not able to be seen. Neither of the two lighthouses are accessible to the public.

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