Worldwide Lighthouses

Berry Head Lighthouse

Berry Head

General Information


Established: 1906

Current Lighthouse Built: 1906

Height: 5 Metres (16.4 Feet)

Automated: 1921

Electrified: 1906

Operator: Trinity House

Light Information


White: 14 Nautical Miles

Berry Head lighthouse is known as the highest, deepest and smallest lighthouse in britain. The small lantern and its attatched service buildings were built in 1906 to a unique design and together are only 5 metres tall at there height, as the light is high enough, standing on top of a 58 metre high cliff - any further elevation would not only have no purpose, but could also result in fog obscuring the light. Despite the size of the unusually small lighthouse, it is still considered as a major aid to navigation.

The square four-sided rotating optic consists of 8 panels; this gives two flashes twice every 15 seconds and is visible for 14 nautical miles. The light was originally powered by a weight which fell down a 45 metre long tube which makes the lighthouse the deepest in britain.

The station never had a resident keeper, but instead an attendant who visited the light twice daily, to draw the curtains open and closed, as well as lighting and fueling the lamp, and carrying out general maintainance.

The light was automated in 1921, and was converted to electric operation in 1994.

Large oil tanker ships can usually be seen stationary a few miles ofshore from berry head, awaiting Trinity House pilots to guide them through the English Channel. Even if these large boats do not use a lighthouse or lightship for navigation in the Channel, it can cost them more than £25,000, in levies to Trinity House.

The lighthouse is located just south of the now disused coast guard station, within the grounds of an old naploionic fort which dates back to 1793 - it is a short walk away from the carpark, which charges a small fee.

From berry head, you can see brixham breakwater's lighthouse, which is a short drive away.

Start Point Lighthouse is just out of view, hidden around another headland.