Trwyn Du Lighthouse
|Location||Near Penmon, Anglesey, Wales|
|Year first constructed||1838|
|Height||29 m (95 ft)|
|Focal height||19 m (62 ft)|
|Range||12 nmi (22 km)|
|Characteristic||White Flash every 5 seconds|
|Fog signal||Bell Sounding once every 30 seconds|
Trwyn Du Lighthouse is a lighthouse between Dinmor Point near Penmon and Ynys Seriol, or Puffin Island, south east Anglesey, at the north entrance to the Menai Strait (grid reference: SH 6 44815) and marking the passage between the two islands.
History of site
There had been a call for a light at this location for some years by master shipmen in the nearby city of Liverpool especially after the steamer the Rothsay Castle ran aground and broke up nearby in 1831 with 130 people losing their lives. The first lighthouse was erected in 1838, at a price of £11,589.
The present Lighthouse is 29m tall and was designed by James Walker and built in 1835-1838. It was his first sea-washed tower, and a prototype for his more ambitious tower on the Smalls.
The Lighthouse has a stepped base designed to discourage the huge upsurge of waves that had afflicted earlier lighthouses on the site and reduce the force of the water at the bottom of the tower.
Austere vertical walls, instead of the usual graceful lines of other rock towers, are probably an economy measure. The tower has a crenellated stone parapet, in preference to iron railings on the gallery, and narrows in diameter above the half-way point. These are a features used by Walker in his other lighthouse designs. The tower is distinguished by its original three black bands painted on a white background.
Walker also pioneered, unsuccessfully, the use of a primitive water closet, comprising a specially designed drain exiting at the base of the tower. The stepped design of the lighthouse may have helped water exit the closet, but surges of seawater made its use difficult during heavy weather.
The lamp was converted to solar power in 1996 and the lighthouse was modernised extensively at that time.
At present the Lighthouse has a 15,000 candela light that can be seen 12 nmi (22 km) away and a 178 kilogram fog bell that sounds once every thirty seconds. There was also a lifeboat station built in 1832, nearby, but this closed in 1915.
The tower has been unmanned since 1922 and is checked from Holyhead Control Centre.
Access and facilities
Dinmor Point is accessible by heading east out of Beaumaris and through Llangoed. For a small fee you can go along a toll road and park very close to the lighthouse or park for free about a mile from the lighthouse. The area around Dinmor contains a cafe, shop and toilets and is good for fishing.
- Hague, D., B., The Lighthouses of Wales Their Architecture and Archaeology (The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Edited by Hughes, S., 1994) ISBN 1-871184-08-8