Burnham-on-Sea Low lighthouse

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Burnham-on-Sea Low lighthouse
Burnham low light geograph-498963-by-Steve--F.jpg
Burnham-on-Sea Low Lighthouse
Burnham-on-Sea Low lighthouse is located in Somerset
Burnham-on-Sea Low lighthouse
Location Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England
Coordinates 51°14′54″N 3°00′21″W / 51.24833°N 3.00583°W / 51.24833; -3.00583Coordinates: 51°14′54″N 3°00′21″W / 51.24833°N 3.00583°W / 51.24833; -3.00583
Year first constructed 1832
Construction Wood
Tower shape Square on pilings
Markings / pattern White with red vertical stripe on sea side
Focal height 23 ft (7 m)
Range White 12nm
Red & Green 10nm
Characteristic Flashing White 7.5s
Directional Fixed WRG
Fog signal none
Admiralty number A5570
NGA number 6172
ARLHS number ENG-019[1]

The Low lighthouse is one of three lighthouses in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England and the only one which is still active. It is a Grade II listed building.[2]

Burnham-on-Sea is notable for its beach and mudflats, which are characteristic of Bridgwater Bay and the rest of the Bristol Channel where the tide can recede for over 1.5 miles (2.4 km). Burnham is close to the estuary of the River Parrett where it flows into the Bristol Channel, which has the second highest tidal range in the world of 15 metres (49 ft),[3] second only to Bay of Fundy in Eastern Canada.[4][5] The constantly shifting sands have always been a significant risk to shipping in the area.

The low wooden pile lighthouse or Lighthouse on legs is 36 feet (11 m) high; the light being at 23 feet (7.0 m) was built by Joseph Nelson in 1832, in conjunction with the High Lighthouse to replace the original Round Tower Lighthouse, which itself had been built to replace the light kept burning in the tower of St Andrews Church to guide fishing boats into the harbour.[6]

It stands on nine wooden piers, some with plate metal reinforcement. The structure is whitewashed with a vertical red stripe on the sea side.[2][7]

The lights were inactive between 1969 and 1993 and were re-established when the High Lighthouse lights were permanently discontinued. They have a focal plane of 7 metres (23 ft) and provide a white flash every 7.5s plus a directional light (white, red, or green depending on direction) at a focal plane of 4 m.[6] It is operated by Sedgemoor District Council.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ List of Lights - British Isles, English Channel and North Sea 114. Bethesda: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2009. p. 97. 
  2. ^ a b "Burnham Low Lighthouse". Images of England. Retrieved 10 December 2006. 
  3. ^ "Severn Estuary Barrage" (PDF). UK Environment Agency. 7 May 2008. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007. 
  4. ^ Chan, Marjorie A.; Archer, Allen William (2003). Extreme Depositional Environments: Mega End Members in Geologic Time. Boulder, Colorado: Geological Society of America. p. 151. ISBN 0-8137-2370-1. 
  5. ^ "Coast: Bristol Channel". BBC. Retrieved 27 August 2007. 
  6. ^ a b "Lighthouses". Burnham on Sea.com. Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "Burnham Low Lighthouse on foreshore off Gore Road, Gore Road (West side), Burnham-on-Sea". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Rowlett, Russ. .htm "Lighthouses of Western England". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 26 April 2010.