It’s National Lighthouse Day tomorrow!  Yes, really!


Although it may seem like a strange thing to celebrate, those of us that have grown up near the coast will tell you that the lighthouse is an important part of the area.  A stalwart beacon of light that, to many, symbolises safety and security for all those families whose members make their living at sea.

With the rugged coastline of Devon being one that is frequented not only by smaller fishing vessels, but also military ships and passenger ferries, our lighthouses often form an integral part of the seaside vista.

Why not pay homage to the lighthouse by visiting one of these structures, accompanied by the beautiful views that Devon has to offer?

 

Smeaton’s Tower


Once in use at Eddystone, Smeaton’s Tower was an innovative step forward in lighthouse design.  Dismantled and rebuilt on Plymouth Hoe, it now stands as a memorial to John Smeaton, the civil engineer who designed it.

Now set on the grassy area of Plymouth Hoe with outstanding views over the sound, Smeaton’s Tower is an iconic landmark.

 

 

Lundy Island

 

The small island of the coast of Devon in the Bristol Channel is surrounded by water, so it makes sense that it is home to three lighthouses.  The Old Light is sited 407 feet above sea level, which lead to problems with the light being seen in foggy conditions.  Following the grounding of La Jeune Emma, the lighthouse has abandoned and two new lighthouses built at the North and South points of the island.

Lundy Island is a striking natural landscape with very few people, making it a popular place to visit for the day to see the wildlife and unique flora and fauna.

 

 

Start Point

 

Built in 1836, Start Point Lighthouse is a grade II listed building built in the gothic style.  Topped with a crenellated parapet and painted white, this lighthouse is a beautiful structure as well as a functional one, designed by James Walker, who also has twenty nine other towers to his name.

Flanked by the well house and keeper’s cottage, this lovely old lighthouse in South Devon has a feeling of being lost in time.

 

 

Hartland Point

 

Hartland Point Lighthouse marks the western limit of the Bristol Channel, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean to the West.  You can also see the aforementioned Lundy Island on the horizon, forming a part of its breathtaking ocean view.  Built in 1874, the lighthouse at Hartland Point is under constant attack by the tempestuous seas, and over the years sea walls and barriers have sprung up around it to protect it.  The point is fairly isolated, with access roads subject to landslips and erosion, so the keeper’s dwellings have been demolished to make room for a helipad.

Hartland Point has the best sea views in the area, and the bright whiteness of the building is a dramatic contrast against the deep blue of the ocean and battered rocks of the cliffs.

 

 

Lynmouth Foreland

 

Sometimes known as the Countisbury Foreland Lighthouse, due to the nearby village of the same name, this lighthouse was built in 1900 to make navigating the Bristol Channel easier for passing vessels.

Nestled in the slopes of a cliff face, the lighthouse itself is now completely automated, and the keeper’s cottage has since been transformed into a National Trust holiday cottage.  In splendid isolation, the lighthouse is a great area to spot sheltering porpoise and sea birds when conditions are rough.

 

 

Eddystone

 

Situated on the dangerous Eddystone Rocks, 9 miles South of Rame Head in Cornwall, the rocks and sea surrounding them belong to Devon and form an extensive reef around 12 miles South of Plymouth Sound which is often completed obscured by the spring tides.  The current lighthouse is the forth structure to be built on the site, with the first two being destroyed by storm and fire, and the third now erected on Plymouth Hoe as a monument.

Alone on the rocks and completely removed from civilisation, this lighthouse is automated to perform its important role, watching over the reef.

 

Why not pack a picnic and visit a lighthouse or two in Devon in celebration of National Lighthouse Day?  We have the perfect picnic hampers for you to take, and we could suggest a good sea shanty or two!  All together now; “…my father was the keeper of Eddystone Light….”


Post By Sadie

Sadie Woolcock

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