Caldey Lighthouse

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Caldey Island Lighthouse
Caldey Island Lighthouse.jpg
Caldey Island Lighthouse in 2007
Caldey Lighthouse is located in Wales
Caldey Lighthouse
LocationCaldey Island
Coordinates51°37′54″N 4°41′03″W / 51.631559°N 4.684274°W / 51.631559; -4.684274Coordinates: 51°37′54″N 4°41′03″W / 51.631559°N 4.684274°W / 51.631559; -4.684274
Year first constructed1829
Constructionbrick tower
Tower shapemassive cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower and lantern
Tower height16 metres (52 ft)
Focal height65 metres (213 ft)
Current lens2nd Order (700mm) catadioptric
Light sourcesolar power
Intensity5,010 candela
Range13 nautical miles (24 km; 15 mi)
CharacteristicFl (3) WR 20s.
Admiralty numberA5328
NGA number5732
ARLHS numberWAL-004
Managing agentTrinity House[1] [2]
HeritageGrade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata

Caldey Lighthouse is located on the south end of Caldey Island, three miles (5 km) off the south Pembrokeshire, Wales coastline, a small island inhabited by a Cistercian monastery.

Construction and dimensions[edit]

An application to build the Lighthouse was made in March 1827 on behalf of traders in Carmarthen Bay. It was commissioned by Trinity House and built by Joseph Nelson at a cost of £4,460. The light was first lit in 1829.

The Lighthouse is a squat, round, brick-lined limestone tower of 17.07m (56ft), with walls 0.91m (3ft) thick at the base and 2 ft 6 in (0.76 m) thick at the top. The light stands 64m (210ft) above high-water mark. It acts in conjunction with the Lundy North lighthouse to the south, and has a range of 13 nautical miles (24 km). Lundy

Lantern and lamp[edit]

Lantern and optic in 2013

The present lantern was fitted around the middle of the nineteenth century and consisted of 20 Argand lamps and reflectors, subsequently replaced by a helical lantern later in the nineteenth century.

The Lighthouse was converted to automatic operations in 1929. It was the last Trinity House lighthouse to be powered by gas, eventually being converted to electricity in 1997.

The light was intended to help coastal traffic trading limestone and coal to mid and north Wales but the light also helped long-distance and north American traffic identify the Bristol Channel and avoid confusion with the English Channel.

Keeper's cottages[edit]

The lighthouse keepers' cottages, that flank the Lighthouse, are two-storey, with hipped roofs, octagonal chimneys, and a one-storey linking corridor. This forms a ‘U’-shape, with the Lighthouse at the centre of the south side, and enclosed gardens to the north. The cottages were built around 1868-70 by T. C. Harvey, C.E.

In art[edit]

Cardiff Central Library holds a wash drawing by Charles Norris showing the Lighthouse under construction.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Caldey Island The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 4 June 2016
  2. ^ Caldey Island Lighthouse Trinity House. Retrieved 4 June 2016


  • Hague, D. B., Lighthouses of Wales Their Architecture and Archaeology (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 1994), ISBN 1-871184-08-8
  • Lloyd, T., Orbach, J., Scourfield, R., The Buildings of Wales: Pembrokeshire (Yale University Press, 2004), ISBN 0-300-10178-3.

External links[edit]