Longships Lighthouse, famous for being visible off the tip of Lands End is an impressive 35 metre stone tower, nearly a mile off of the shore. The current tower was built in 1875 as a replacement for a small privately owned light which was perched on the rocks previously - it was so short that waves often crashed over the lantern, obscuring it so much that it was difficult for mariners to establish whether the light was fixed or not - as a result, Trinity House built the new tower, which although is over 11 metres higher, is still sometimes obscured by waves crashing over it. Just after the new lighthouse was built, the old one collapsed into the sea.
The new tower was built of grey granite by Sir James Douglass is situated on Carn Bras, which is the name of the largest rock on the Longships. - The tower is curved or 'wave washed' to deflect waves, so that they do not knock the tower over and a glass lantern at the top houses a First Order Dioptric lens, giving a main white light, showing red sectors marking the surrounding rocks and channel between the Longships and Mainland, each visible for 18 Nautical Miles.
In the 1980's a helipad was added to the top of the tower to make maintaining the light an easier task - this also meant that it was easier and more reliable for keepers to be relieved this way.