Bull Point Lighthouse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bull Point Lighthouse
Bull Point lighthouse - geograph.org.uk - 873144.jpg
Bull Point Lighthouse
Bull Point Lighthouse is located in Devon
Bull Point Lighthouse
Coordinates51°11′56.8″N 4°12′04.4″W / 51.199111°N 4.201222°W / 51.199111; -4.201222
Year first constructed1879 (first)
1972 (second)
Year first lit1974 (current)
Constructionbrick tower (current)
metal skeletal tower (second)
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern attached to 1-storey keeper's house
Markings / patternunpainted tower, white lantern
Tower height11 m (36 ft)
Focal height54 m (177 ft)
Current lenssmall 6 panel 3rd order catadioptric optic
Intensity89,900 candela
Range24 nmi (44 km)
CharacteristicFl (3) W 10s.
Admiralty numberA5600
NGA number6228
ARLHS numberENG 017
Managing agentRural Retreats[1]

Bull Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse on Bull Point, about one mile (1.6 km) north of the village of Mortehoe, on the northern coast of Devon, England. The lighthouse provides a visual aid to the villages of Mortehoe, Woolacombe and Ilfracombe, and warns of the inhospitable and rocky coast that lines the area.

The old lighthouse[edit]

The original lighthouse was constructed in 1879 after a group of local "clergy, ship-owners, merchants and landowners" appealed to Trinity House for one.[2] The oil-powered lamp displayed three white flashes every half minute. A fixed red sector light was also displayed, from a window in the tower, using light diverted by lenses from the landward side of the main light source; it marked the Morte Stone, a local hazard to shipping.[3] The revolving optic was manufactured by Chance Brothers of Smethwick, as was the lantern. A fog horn was also provided, powered by two caloric engines (provided by Brown & co. of New York).[3]

A new fog siren, sounded through a pair of 'Rayleigh trumpets',[4] was installed in 1919, along with a new set of Hornsby oil engines.[5]

The light was electrified in 1960,[6] and at the same time a new optic, generator and diaphone fog signal equipment were installed, [7] with the trumpets being replaced by a pair of rectangular exponential horns.[5]

The new lighthouse[edit]

In September 1972 the headland on which the lighthouse stood subsided making the structure dangerous.[8] Trinity House used an old light tower from Braunton Sands for two years whilst a new structure was rebuilt further inland.[3] This was completed in 1974 at a cost of £71,000 and is currently in use; much equipment was reused from the old lighthouse, including the 1960 optic and fog signal. The sector light was also retained.[7] It was fully automated from completion, stands 11 metres tall, has a light intensity of 800,000 candelas and can be seen for 24 nmi (44 km).[9] The triple F-type diaphone foghorn was switched off in 1988, but inside the redundant equipment remains intact.[5] The lighthouse was automated in 1995.

The site can be visited by an adjacent public footpath. The old lighthouse keepers' cottages are now being let out to tourists as self-catering holiday establishments.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bull Point The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 30 April 2016
  2. ^ "A harder walk over coastal heathlands via Damage Barton and Bull Point Lighthouse". Lee Bay North Devon. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Bull Point Lighthouse". Woolacombe & Mortehoe Voice. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  4. ^ photo
  5. ^ a b c Renton, Alan (2001). Lost Sounds: The Story of Coast Fog Signals. Caithness, Scotland: Whittles.
  6. ^ "Bull Point Lighthouse". Trinity House. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b "World Wide Lighthouses". Bull Point Lighthouse. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  8. ^ photo
  9. ^ "Bull Point Lighthouse". Trinity House. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°11′57″N 4°12′04″W / 51.19917°N 4.20111°W / 51.19917; -4.20111