Worldwide Lighthouses

Holyhead Breakwater Lighthouse

Holyhead Breakwater

General Information


Established: 1873

Current Lighthouse Built: 1873

Height: 19 Metres (62.34 Feet)

Automated: 1961

Operator: Stena Line

Designer: John Hawkshaw

Light Information


Green: 14 Nautical Miles Between (0°) and (360°)

The lighthouse on Holyhead's impressive breakwater (the longest in Britain at over 1.7 miles in length) was built in 1873 to mark what in itself is a large obstical for shipping.

The lighthouse was designed by John Hawkshaw and is unique amongst british design for Lighthouses. The tower is of a sensible ergonomically friendly design; its most striking feature, being square shaped (unusual amongst harbour lights and small aids to navigation) owes to the need for Lighthouse keepers to tend to the light, because the location was so remote and distant from the land. The shape of the tower provided them with the largest and most useful space possible, as circular rooms are not always practicle - this design was also presumably cheaper than paying for the stones to be curved.

The lighthouse started off as unpainted stone but later became painted white with a broad black band. The light, which is houses in the lantern, was originally intensified by a rotating lens, although this has been replaced by a more simple electronic beacon that exbits a green light which is visible all around for 14 nautical miles.

The tower, which is an icon in Holyhead is possibly it's best known landmark, is also a trademark of the port, which is owned by Stenaline, who also own and maintain the tower. The light is monitered and controlled remotely by Trinity House, as are several other nearby lights, such as Southstack and Skerries.