Worldwide Lighthouses

Start Point Lighthouse

Start Point

General Information

Established: 1836

Current Lighthouse Built: 1836

Automated: 1993

Electrified: 1959

Operator: Trinity House

Designer: James Walker

Light Information

White: 25 Nautical Miles

Red: 12 Nautical Miles

The lighthouse on Start Point; one of the southernmost points on mainland Britain, sticking out more than a mile into the English Channel was built in 1836 to mark the surrounding dangerous peninsular and nearby rocks.

James Walker, Chief Engineer to Trinity House designed the tower in the castle-like style he built some of his other lights (Such as Trwyn Du and South Foreland's High Light), topped by a glazed lantern containing a large fresnel lens.

The light was lit on June 1st 1836, giving one flash once every minute, with a second fixed white light shown from a window 3.6 metres bellow the main lantern - in 1874 this was changed to 7 metres.

On January 5th 1877, a fog signal was introduced and giving one blast every three minutes - this replaced a bell, which was often complained about as it was almost inaudible over the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs. Cracks were noticed in the fog signal building in December 1989 and the horn was taken out of service - later that month a large cliff-fall occurred, destroying the fog signal building and significantly damaging the relatively new western cottage to the point where what remained of it had to be demolished.

One of the original cottages, detached from the tower, which would have belonged to the Principal Keeper remains and the eastern cottage was rebuilt during upgrades in the 1950's.

Today a smaller lens, installed in 1959 is still used, producing 3 flashes every 10 Seconds - a new electronic fog signal is installed near the top of the tower, on one of the gallery's castellations; giving a single blast every 60 seconds.

The light was automated in 1993 and is now controlled from Trinity House's headquarters in Harwich, Essex.