Worldwide Lighthouses

Trevose Head Lighthouse

Trevose Head

General Information


Established: 1847

Current Lighthouse Built: 1847

Automated: 1995

Electrified: 1974

Operator: Trinity House

Designer: Jacob and Thomas Oliver

Light Information


White: 20 Nautical Miles

Trevose head was first considered as a site for a lighthouse in 1813 and again in 1832 but it was not till 1847 that the lighthouse was built for trinity house - it was designed and built by Jacob and Thomas Oliver and was at the time the only lighthouse between the longships and Lundy. The original light source was oil, and two lights were shown from the site - one from the current lantern which was originally visible for 19 and one from another lantern, similar in design, at the base of the current tower, which was visible for 16 nautical miles - this lantern was connected to the main tower by a short corridor. The two lights were hardly altered until 1882 when the low light was discontinued and demolished and the main high light was changed to a occulting.

In 1911 the light was to see further changes and construction of a new fog signal building took place, which was completed in 1913 to the design of lord Rayleigh, who at the time was the scientific advisor to trinity house. The new fog signal's trumpet was hexagonal in shape and was 36 feet (11 Metres) in length, 18 feet (5 Metres) in height and was 2 feet (0.6 of a Metre) in width at its widest point - the smaller end was connected to a cylindrical turret shaped housing on top of the engine room building - the sound was audible for over 8 miles and was one of the largest fog horns to ever have been used. In 1963 the huge fog signal was replaced by a super tyfon with 8 horns. The original trumpet was held up by two supports, the foundations of which are the only visible remains of the old fog signal building and its horn, which were demolished in 1993 after being damaged by erosion of the cliff.

The tower's current lens was installed in 1913 and originally gave one 0.3 second in duration red flash every 5 seconds with a range of 25 miles - the coloured panels which made the light red were removed in 1995, when the light was automated. The 1913 lens was retained when the light was automated and is still in in operation, but was slowed down so that it gave a flash every 7.5 seconds rather than a 0.3 second flash every 5 seconds and the old super tyfon signal was replaced with an electric omnidirectional signal controlled by a fog detector on the gallery - it gives 2 Blasts Every 30 Seconds.

In 1829, a daymark was constructed a few miles east of the lighthouse at stepper point, by the now disbanded 'Association for the preservation of life and property of shipwreck' - it is 12 metres in height and is an unpainted tapering brick tower that can on a clear day be seen for over 20 nautical miles.

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