Since 1669, it has been acknowledged that a Lighthouse was needed on Flamborough Head - a headland that protrudes over a mile out to sea, just north of Bridlington. At the time of the first lighthouse tower being constructed on the headland, the next lighthouse to the south was at Cromer, over 100 Miles/87 Nautical Miles away, which shows just how Unlit the coast remained!
The current lighthouse on Flamborough Head was built in 1806 and was originally designed by Samuel Wyatt, later being redesigned by James Douglass, giving it much of the apearance it has today, including the diamond and triangle glazed lantern.
The 26.5 metre high tower is painted White and has a simple flat-roofed rectangular block of what was originally keepers housing, just in front of the tower, which now serves as Holiday Accommodation, on this popular area of coastline.
The White Light is produced by a large rotating 1st Order Catadioptric Fresnel lens, giving 4 flashes every 15 seconds, visible for 24 nautical miles. Should the main Light and all backup lamps and power sources fail, there are several emergency standby lamps mounted on the Gallery of the tower; giving the same character at a reduced range, to maximize battery life, until a problem with the main light can be fixed. It is noteworthy that Flamborough's Lighthouse was the First Lighthouse in the world to use coloured shades to distinguish the character of a light - red shades covered the early Parabolic Reflectors, to give two white flashes followed by one red flash.
The Lighthouse was converted to electricity in 1940 and was automated in May 1996; Like all other Trinity House Lighthouses, it is now monitored from the control centre and depot of the corporation, in Harwich, Essex.
A short distance from the tower is the fog signal station, which was staffed by a separate crew, who were to set off explosives and gun cotton, in the early days - this was later changed to a giant pair of Diaphone horns, mounted on a building in front of the original fog signal keeper's cottage - this was later modernised and the apparatus was made smaller, before being replaced by an electronic horn in the 1970s. Today, the electronic horn gives an uninteresting high pitched beeping sound, twice every 90 Seconds.