Godrevy Lighthouse

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Godrevy Lighthouse
Godrevy Lighthouse is located in Cornwall
Godrevy Lighthouse
Location Near St. Ives, Cornwall, England
Coordinates 50°14′33″N 5°24′1″W / 50.24250°N 5.40028°W / 50.24250; -5.40028Coordinates: 50°14′33″N 5°24′1″W / 50.24250°N 5.40028°W / 50.24250; -5.40028
Year first constructed 1859
Year first lit 1 March 1859
Automated 9 August 1934
Construction Rubble, stone and mortar
Tower shape Octagonal
Markings / pattern White paint
Height 26 m (85 ft)
Focal height 37 m (121 ft)
Original lens 2nd Order 700 MM Fixed Optic With Red Sector
Current lens 2 x marine LED sector lights
Intensity Originally: White 4,370 Candela, Red 817 Candela; now: 495 Candela
Range Originally: White 12 nmi (22 km), Red 8 nmi (15 km); now: 8 nmi (15 km)
Characteristic 1 White and Red Flash Every 10 Seconds
ARLHS number ENG 047

Godrevy Lighthouse was built in 1858–1859 on the largest rock of the Stones reef. The lighthouse is approximately 300 metres (980 ft) off Godrevy Head on the eastern side of St Ives Bay, Cornwall in the United Kingdom. The Stones reef had always been a hazard to shipping and a lighthouse had been considered many times prior to 1858 but nothing came of plans until the SS Nile was wrecked on 30 November 1854, with the loss of all on board.[1] The lighthouse is a white octagonal tower, 86 feet (26 m) high and made of rubble, stone and mortar. The original light was a revolving white one, with a fixed red light below the main light, which could be seen over a 45-degree arc when a ship was in danger of the reef. This was later replaced by a red sector on the main light itself. Originally, the light was manned by three men at a time, but in 1934 the lighthouse was automated. The light flashes white/red every ten seconds, with the red sector only being visible in the arc of danger from the reef. The range of the light is around 12 miles (19 km).[2][3] Godrevy Light by Charles Thomas and Jessica Mann describes the history of this lighthouse and shows the many works of art it inspired.

In 2012 Trinity House discontinued use of the light within the tower, replacing it with an LED light mounted on a steel platform nearby on the rocks. Godrevy is still listed by Trinity House as a lighthouse, and the tower is maintained by them as a daymark.

The lighthouse is said to have inspired Virginia Woolf to write To the Lighthouse – although she locates the lighthouse in the Hebrides. She first visited on 12 September 1892, signing the visitors book, as did pre–Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt who was in the same party. The lighthouse's visitor book, containing the signature of Virginia Stephen (Woolf), was sold at auction at Bonhams on 22 November 2011 for £10,250.[4]


  1. ^ Larn, Richard and Bridget (1997). "Vol 1 Section 4". Shipwreck Index of the British Isles. London: Lloyd's Register of Shipping. ISBN 0-900528-88-5. 
  2. ^ "Godrevy Lighthouse". Trinity House. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Charles; Mann, Jessica (2009). Godrevy Light. Twelveheads Press. ISBN 9780906294703. 
  4. ^ "Visitor;s book signed by Woolf is sold for £10,250". Western Morning News. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 

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