Coquet Island

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Coquet Island
Coquet island 3.JPG
Coquet Island is located in Northumberland
Coquet Island
Coquet Island
LocationNorth Sea
Coordinates55°20′06″N 1°32′20″W / 55.335°N 1.539°W / 55.335; -1.539Coordinates: 55°20′06″N 1°32′20″W / 55.335°N 1.539°W / 55.335; -1.539
OS grid referenceNU293046
Area6 ha (15 acres)

Coquet Island /ˈkkət/ is a small island of about 6 hectares (15 acres), situated 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) off Amble on the Northumberland coast, northeast England.

Bird reserve[edit]

The island is owned by the Duke of Northumberland. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds manages the island as a bird reserve, for its important seabird colonies.

The most numerous species is the puffin, with over 18,000 pairs nesting in 2002, but the island is most important for the largest colony of the endangered roseate tern in Britain, which, thanks to conservation measures including the provision of nestboxes to protect the nests from gulls and bad weather, has risen to 92 pairs in 2005. Other nesting birds include sandwich tern, common tern, Arctic tern, black-legged kittiwake, fulmar, three gull species, and eider duck.

The island is uninhabited in winter, but seasonal wardens are present throughout the summer to protect the nesting birds. Landing on Coquet Island for the general public is prohibited, but local boating companies from Amble sail close up to the island in good weather throughout the summer, allowing visitors to get good views of the puffins and roseate terns.

Coquet Lighthouse[edit]

Coquet Lighthouse
Lighthouse, Coquet Island 1.JPG
The lighthouse
Coquet Island is located in Northumberland
Coquet Island
LocationCoquet Island
Coordinates55°20′2″N 1°32′23.2″W / 55.33389°N 1.539778°W / 55.33389; -1.539778
Year first constructed1841
Constructionsandstone tower
Tower shapesquare tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternunpainted lower tower, white upper tower and lantern
Tower height22 m (72 ft)
Focal height25 m (82 ft)
Original lens1st order catadioptric fixed lens
Light sourcesolar power
Intensitywhite: 155,000 candela
red: 21,830 candela
Rangewhite: 19 nmi (35 km)
red: 15 nmi (28 km)
CharacteristicFl (4) WR 20s.
Fog signalone 3 second blast every 30s.
Admiralty numberA2780
NGA number2228
ARLHS numberENG 025
Managing agentRoyal Society for the Protection of Birds (Coquet Island Preserve)[1]

Coquet Island also holds the remaining structure of a medieval monastery on the south western shore, which was largely incorporated into the 19th-century lighthouse and lighthouse keepers' cottages.

Coquet Island Lighthouse

Coquet Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1841 at a cost of £3,268. James Walker designed the lighthouse, which is a white square tower of sandstone, with walls more than one metre thick, surrounded by a turreted parapet. The first keeper at Coquet Lighthouse was William Darling, the elder brother of Grace Darling.

The former optic from Coquet Island Lighthouse.

The lighthouse was initially provided with a large (first-order) fixed dioptric along with a set of mirrors (which were replaced with refracting prisms ten years later); the lens was by Isaac Cookson & co. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.[2] The lamp was oil-fuelled. In 1854 red sectors were added, to warn ships of Hauxley Point to the south and Boulmer Rocks to the north.[2] Later a second sector light was added, pointing south from a lower window in the tower. By the 1890s the main light was made occulting.[3]

In 1976 the light was electrified and 1990 the lighthouse was automated, at which point a set of quartz halogen sealed beam lamps were installed in place of the old optic.[4][5] Subsequently a small revolving optic was installed, mounted on an AGA PRB gearless drive.[6] Coquet's light has been solar powered since 2008.[7]

The original 1841-51 optic is now on public display, along with the old occulting apparatus, at Souter Lighthouse, further down the coast.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Coquet Island The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 30 April 2016
  2. ^ a b "Lighthouse management : the report of the Royal Commissioners on Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, 1861, examined and refuted Vol. 2". p. 94.
  3. ^ Davenport Adams, W. H. (1891). The Story of our Lighthouses and Lightships: Descriptive and Historical (PDF). London, Edinburgh & New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons. p. 147. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  4. ^ Woodman, Richard; Wilson, Jane (2002). The Lighthouses of Trinity House. Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts.: Thomas Reed. pp. 64–66.
  5. ^ Photo, 1990.
  6. ^ "Coquet Lighthouse". Trinity House. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Coquet Island". Visit Northumberland. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Souter Lighthouse (National Trust)". Northern Leisure. Retrieved 2 March 2019.

External links[edit]

Nautical chart «Coquet Island Lighthouse» (1875)