Beachy Head Lighthouse

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Beachy Head Lighthouse
How the lighthouse was built: A temporary cable car is transporting workers and stones to an iron ocean platform adjacent to the lighthouse, which is nearing completion.
Beachy Head Lighthouse is located in East Sussex
Beachy Head Lighthouse
Location Near Eastbourne, East Sussex, England
Coordinates 50°44′1.5″N 0°14′29″E / 50.733750°N 0.24139°E / 50.733750; 0.24139
Year first constructed 1902
Automated 1983
Height 43 m (141 ft)
Focal height 31 m (102 ft)
Current lens 1 Single Tier LED Lantern
Range 8 nmi (15 km; 9.2 mi)
Characteristic 2 White Flashes Every 20 Seconds
ARLHS number ENG 005
Looking towards the cliffs and lighthouse from the west near Birling Gap

Beachy Head Lighthouse was built in the sea below Beachy Head. It was 43 m (141 ft) in height and became operational in October 1902.[1] For more than 80 years, the red-and-white striped tower was manned by three lighthouse keepers. Their job was to maintain the light, which rotates, making two white flashes every 20 seconds. It was then visible 26 nautical miles (48 km; 30 mi) out to sea. The lighthouse was fully automated in 1983 and the keepers withdrawn.

In June 2010, Trinity House announced in the five yearly "Aids To Navigation Review" that the light range would be reduced to 8 nmi (15 km; 9.2 mi) and the fog signal discontinued. In February 2011, the work was undertaken and light range reduced by the installation of a new LED navigation light system. The fog signal was discontinued at this time.

Trinity House announced in 2011 that it could no longer afford to repaint the distinctive red and white stripes and that it would have to be left to return to its natural granite grey. It stated that because boats now have high tech navigational systems the day marker stripes are no longer essential. However, a sponsored campaign to keep the stripes was launched in October 2011. The required £27,000 was raised.[2] The tower repainting was completed in October using a team including two abseilers. Five coats of paint were applied to the copper lantern at the top and three on each hoop of the tower .[3]


  1. ^ Surtees, Dr John (1997). Beachy Head. Seaford: SB Publications. ISBN 1-85770-118-6. 
  2. ^ "Beachy Head Lighthouse Campaign". Beachy Head Lighthouse Campaign. 
  3. ^ "Beachy Head lighthouse repainting 'finishing touches'". BBC.