Worldwide Lighthouses

Bull Point Lighthouse

Bull Point

General Information


Established: 1879

Current Lighthouse Built: 1976

Height: 11 Metres (36.09 Feet)

Automated: 1975

Electrified: 1960

Operator: Trinity House

Light Information


White: 24 Nautical Miles

Red: 12 Nautical Miles

Bull Point's original lighthouse was built in 1879 but since then there have been 3 other lights shown from the site, all of very different designs.

The original tower stood infront of the furthest north remaining building in the compound, which is a traditional Trinity House lighthouse keepers cottage, which was originally the keepers dwellings for the light. This light was built in 1879 and gave good service for 93 years when on September 18th 1972 one of the keepers noticed fissures of up to 2 inches opening up in the ground and movement in the ground around the fog signal building and passage leading to the lighthouse.

6 days after the ground movement was first noticed, a large cliff fall resulted in the collapse of much of the fog signal and left most of the buildings in a dangerous condition. The second tower was on site soon after the old lighthouse was put out of action - it was a white painted metal skeletal structure with a lantern and gallery which had been used at braunton sands and subsequently given to the nature conservancy. It was reaquired by Trinity house for use at bull point.

2 years after the collapse - in 1974 a new 11 metre high, unpainted block-built tower was constructed near the site of the original lighthouse. This new tower cost £71,000 and was automatic from the start.

The unusually modern lighthouse was built at a cost of £71,000 - it replaced the temporary structure which was also automatic. Both of the replacement towers incorporated the original lenses, generator and the original fog signaling equipment, all of which date back to 1960.

The 3 large diaphone fog signals; one of the first things you notice about the unusually modern tower - which was one of the last to be built by Trinity House - were silenced in 1988 after only 12 years of use (one of the four concrete horn shapes is in fact a window)

The main white light flashes 3 times every 10 seconds, which is the same characteristic as start point, in south devon which uses an almost identical optic - it has a range of 24 nautical miles and formed part of a triangle of lighthouses with Hartland point and Lundy's south lighthouse until Hartland Point was discontinued in 2011.

A red sector light further down the tower shines west over the Rockham Shoal and the Morte Stone - it is fixed and is visible for 12 nautical miles. All of this equipment switches on and off automatically and comes into operation at pre-set times and is monitered from the Trinity House headquarters in Harwich, Essex.

The lighthouse is located at the end of a 1.2 mile long service road, which is open to the public and is a popular walking trail.

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