Worldwide Lighthouses

Anvil Point Lighthouse

Anvil Point

General Information


Established: 1881

Current Lighthouse Built: 1881

Height: 12 Metres (39.37 Feet)

Automated: 1991

Electrified: 1960

Operator: Trinity House

Designer: James Walker

Light Information


White: 9 Nautical Miles

The lighthouse on Anvil Point is a short white-painted tower, only 12 meters in height. The station was planned out and designed by James Walker and was built in 1881 by Trinity House. The tower marks the corner of the coast where the chalk cliffs that stretch from weymouth turn and head towards the port of Poole. The tower is of a almost standard trinity house design, other than the lantern, which is unique in its short stumped appearance. Attached to the tower is a single-story block of keeper's cottages, reached by a small corridoor. The houses, which have pitched roofs and green painted window ledges and trims also retains its original black chimneys, which have been lost from many other lighthouse keeper's cottages around the country.

The simple station also has outbuildings for storage at the back of the compound, behind the keeper's house, whilst a tannoy fog signal building stands in front of the tower, although the workings of this have been mostly removed and the building remains an empty stack.

Between 1959 and 1960 the lighthouse was modernised, including the removal of the tower's original lens, which was installed in 1881 and as noted above, the removal of a fog jib from the roof, having been replaced by a tannoy fog signal, made up of several electric emmiters. The original lens and lighting apparatus is in storage at the Science Museum of London.

1991 saw the automation of the station and the keeper's left on May 31st, although the tower was opened to the public for a while, before finally closing in 2011, when Trinity House decided to lower the status of the lighthouse to that of a minor aid to navigation; in the process, the main optic, which dated to the 1960's improvements and modernisation, was taken out of service and covered up by a plastic sheet in order to protect it from setting fire to anything (although this is not a problem when the lens is kept rotating throughout the day)

Nowadays a simple LED light is displayed, giving a white flash every 10 Seconds, visible for 9 nautical miles.

Today, the lighthouse is situated within the land of Durlston County Park in Swanage, along with a castle and various cave-like mineshafts.

Also of interest are a pair of metal towers a few meters away from the lighthouse which form a day-range, which are to be alligned to mark safe passage in the area - these are unlit and as their name suggests, they are only of any use during the day. Lighthouses at Hurst Point, The Needles and St. Catherines can all be seen from this Lighthouse on a clear day, as the Isle of Wight is only a short distance away.

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