Bells Rock Light

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Bells Rock Light
Bells Rock Light.PNG
Undated photograph of Bells Rock Light (USCG)
Bells Rock Light is located in Virginia
Bells Rock Light
Location Two miles downstream from West Point, Virginia on the York River
Coordinates 37°29′02″N 76°44′59″W / 37.4839°N 76.7498°W / 37.4839; -76.7498Coordinates: 37°29′02″N 76°44′59″W / 37.4839°N 76.7498°W / 37.4839; -76.7498
Year first lit 1881
Automated 1928
Foundation screw-pile
Construction cast-iron/wood
Tower shape hexagonal house
Height 40 feet (12 m)
Original lens fourth-order Fresnel lens
Range 4.3 nautical miles; 8.0 kilometres (5 mi)
Characteristic Flashing 4 sec

The Bells Rock Light was a lighthouse located in the York River in Virginia.


In the nineteenth century, West Point, Virginia was the head of navigation on the York River, and this light was requested in order to facilitate navigation there. A house was built for it at Lazaretto Point in 1880, but this was diverted to Thimble Shoal Light when the latter burned down. A second house was constructed and installed on this spot in 1881. Three years later it was struck by a schooner, breaking three of the support columns; these were repaired expeditiously, however, and the light passed the rest of its days uneventfully.

The diminishing of commercial traffic on the river made the light less important, and in 1928 the house was removed and a skeleton tower erected on the iron foundation. This arrangement continues to the present.