Worldwide Lighthouses

St Ives Old Lighthouse

St Ives Old

General Information


Established: 1831

Current Lighthouse Built: 1831

Height: 6 Metres (19.69 Feet)

Electrified: 1831

Operator: Cornwall Council

Designer: John Smeaton

Light Information


St Ives is a nowadays a major tourist location with a tate museum and idealic picturesque narrow streets. The town, which is reputed to be one of the brightest places in Britain, given its light coloured sand which reflects sunlight is now swamped by holiday makers but was originally built up around the fishing industry. A small harbour wall known as 'Smeatons Pier' was built in 1831 by Lighthouse Engineer John Smeaton, who was responsible for building the first successful off-shore wave-washed light tower on the Eddystone rock. A lighthouse was constructed at the end of the pier, also to smeaton's design. The building has a square base that tapers into an octagonal gallery which is surrounded by railings. The lantern rests on an octagonal plinth and is circular. A domed roof tops the Lighthouse and is completed by a decorative weather vane, depicting a small sailing barge.

The light remained in use until the 1890s at which point the pier was extended and the new lighthouse was built. Today the Lighthouse exhibits red and green coloured lights to indicate if it is safe to enter the harbour or not, presumably depending on the tide, as the harbour is very shallow.

In 1996 the Lighthouse fell victim to a fire which almost destroyed the tower; luckily it was saved and restored.