Longstone Lighthouse

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For other places with the same name, see Longstone (disambiguation).
Longstone Lighthouse
Longstone Lighthouse 1.jpg
Longstone Lighthouse is located in Northumberland
Longstone Lighthouse
Location Longstone rock, Farne Islands, England
Coordinates 55°38.63′N 01°36.58′W / 55.64383°N 1.60967°W / 55.64383; -1.60967Coordinates: 55°38.63′N 01°36.58′W / 55.64383°N 1.60967°W / 55.64383; -1.60967
Year first lit 1826
Automated 1990
Foundation Stone and rock
Construction Stone
Tower shape Circular Conical Cylinder
Markings / pattern Red with horizontal central White Stripe
Height 26 m (85 ft)
Focal height 23 m (75 ft)
Current lens Small 3rd Order Catadioptric Twin Spectacle Lens
Intensity 640,000 Candela
Range 24 nmi (44 km)
Characteristic 1 White Flash Every 20 Seconds
ARLHS number ENG 070

Longstone Lighthouse was built and designed by Joseph Nelson in 1826, and was originally called the Outer Farne lighthouse.

The site had a long history of need for a light. In the late 17th century Sir John Clayton, and later, in 1755, Captain J. Blackhead, requested a light for the island. Both were turned down because the authorities, the Elder Brethren of Trinity House, were unable to persuade affected parties to contribute to the maintenance of the light.

In the mid-1820s the welfare of shipping won over and it was agreed that a lighthouse be constructed. The lighthouse originally used Argand lamps, but in 1952 was finally electrified, and in 1990 became fully automated.

The lighthouse is known for the 1838 wreck of the Forfarshire and the role of Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, in rescuing survivors.

Tours of the lighthouse, which is accessible by boat, are operated by The Golden Gate Boat Trip Company[1] under license from Trinity House.


The lighthouse used to have an optic on top of it made by the Chance Brothers of Smethwick.[2] It was made in 1873 and was used for almost 80 years.[2] The optic is a Fresnel lens, used to increase the transmission of light from a lighthouse.[2] The optic is now on display at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.[3]


  1. ^ "Discover the Farne Islands On the MV Golden Gate". Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Thinktank Trust. "Glass for lighthouses". Birmingham Stories. Thinktank Trust. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Accession number: 1952S00029.00001

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