St. Catherine's Lighthouse

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St Catherine's Lighthouse
Niton, St. Catherine's Point lighthouse - - 644591.jpg
The lighthouse, with fog-signal tower attached
St. Catherine's Lighthouse is located in Isle of Wight
St. Catherine's Lighthouse
Location St. Catherine's Point, Isle of Wight, UK
Coordinates 50°34′33″N 1°17′54″W / 50.57583°N 1.29833°W / 50.57583; -1.29833
Year first constructed c.1323 (1st); 1838 (2nd)
Year first lit 1840
Automated 1997
Construction ashlar
Tower shape octagonal tower
Height 27 m (89 ft)
Focal height 41 m (135 ft)
Current lens 2nd Order 4 Panel Catadioptric
Intensity 821,000 Candela
Range 25 nmi (46 km; 29 mi)
Characteristic One white flash every 5 seconds

St. Catherine's Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouse locations in Great Britain. The first lighthouse was established on St. Catherine's Point in 1323 on the orders of the Pope, after a ship ran aground nearby and its cargo was either lost or plundered. Once part of St. Catherine's Oratory, its octagonal stone tower can still be seen today to the west of Niton at the foot of the Undercliff. It is known locally as the "Pepperpot".[1]

The new lighthouse, built by Trinity House in 1838, was constructed as a 40-metre (130 ft) stone tower; however, its light was often obscured by fog, which led to its height being reduced by 13-metre (43 ft) in 1875. It has a range of 25 nautical miles (46 km; 29 mi) and is the third-most powerful of all the lights maintained by Trinity House.[2] Another tower, built immediately alongside in 1932, houses the now redundant fog signal (discontinued in 1987).

Trinity House provides tours of the lighthouse year round.


  1. ^ Woodman and Wilson (2002). The Lighthouses of Trinity House. Bradford on Avon: Reed. ISBN 1-904050-00-X. 
  2. ^ Trinity House website

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°34′33″N 1°17′52″W / 50.5757°N 1.2979°W / 50.5757; -1.2979