Trevose Head Lighthouse

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Trevose Head Lighthouse
Trevose Head Lighthouse - - 38438.jpg
Trevose Head Lighthouse is located in Cornwall
Trevose Head Lighthouse
Trevose Head Lighthouse
Coordinates 50.54953
Year first constructed 1847
Automated 1995
Height 27 m (89 ft)
Current lens 1st Order 3 Panel Catadioptric
Intensity 89,900 Candela
Range 20 nmi (37 km; 23 mi)
Characteristic Fl W 7.5s
Fog signal 2 blasts every 30s

Trevose Head Lighthouse is a lighthouse on Trevose Head on the north Cornish coast at grid reference SW850766 lying to the WSW of Padstow [1] and was sited here as there was previously no light from Land's End to Lundy[2] and would be visible from Cape Cornwall to Hartland Point.[3]

The newly built Trevose Head lighthouse, Cornwall, England showing both 'high' and 'low' lights - from "The Illustrated London News" 1847

After completion of the first tower, it was determined that the light was under certain circumstances liable to be mistaken by mariners. A second lower light[4] was therefore proposed and constructed 50 feet in front of the first light, with a covered passage between them for use by the lighthouse keepers.[2] Only the first built 'high' light now remains.

The tower is 27 metres (89 ft) tall, and has a range of 20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi), but, on a clear night, you can just spot the light from Pendeen Lighthouse, over 35 miles (56 km) away.[citation needed]


Designed by engineer James Walker[4] the two original lights, 'high' and 'low', were constructed under the supervision of Henry Norris [4] by builders Jacob & Thomas Olver of Falmouth [5][2][4] with the Fresnel lens supplied by Henry Lépaute of Paris [4] and the lamp with 4 concentric wicks & frame manufactured by Messrs. Wilkins & Co. of Long Acre.[2][4]

The site was surveyed by order of the Trinity Board in July 1844 with a design submitted that November and approved February 1845. Building began in that May with the laying out of the road and contract entered into with the builders the next month.[2] During gales on 20-21 November 1846 scaffolding attached to the tower was blown away.[6]

The light was first lit on 1 December 1847.[4][7]

In 1882 the 'high' light was changed to an occulting light and the 'low' light put out of use. In 1912 the light was again updated and work began on installing a 36 feet long fog horn which came into service in 1913 and was itself replaced by a new horn in 1963. The lighthouse was automated and became unmanned in 1995.[8]


  1. ^ "New Lighthouse on Trevose Head". The Sailors' Magazine. December 1847. p. 284. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Illustrated London News". 16 October 1847. 
  3. ^ "Royal Cornwall Gazette". 3 November 1843. p. 8. Trevose Head is the only proper position for such lighthouse, as it is vible from all the coast between Cape Cornwall and Hartland Point 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Lighthouse management : the report of the Royal Commissioners on Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, 1861, examined and refuted Vol. 2". pp. 92, 93. 
  5. ^ "Royal Cornwall Gazette". 13 June 1845. p. 3. FALMOUTH EXPRESS...Messrs. Olver, builders, of this town, have taken a contract to build the intended Lighthouse on Trevose Head, near Padstow, which is to be completed in about 11 months. 
  6. ^ "Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette". 26 November 1846. p. 2. The storm on Friday and Saturday last...much of the scaffolding attached to the Trevose Lighthouse was blown away 
  7. ^ "Woolmer's Exeter and Plymouth Gazette". 11 December 1847. p. 8. The new light-house so long talked of on Trevose Head has at length been completed...The light was first exhibited on 1st instant. 
  8. ^ "Trinity House - Trevose Head". Retrieved 14 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°32′58″N 5°02′11″W / 50.5495°N 5.0363°W / 50.5495; -5.0363