The 1961 lighthouse, with the 1901 lighthouse and Dungeness A Nuclear power station beyond
|Year first constructed||1615 (first)
|Year first lit||1961 (current)|
|Tower shape||cylindrical tower flared at the top with balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||tower with black and white bands, white lantern|
|Height||43 m (141 ft)|
|Focal height||40 m (130 ft)|
|Current lens||4th order catadioptric four panel rotating|
|Range||21 nmi (39 km)|
|Characteristic||Fl W 10s.|
|Fog signal||3 blasts every 60s.|
|ARLHS number||ENG 085|
|Heritage||Grade II* listed building|
Dungeness Lighthouse on the Dungeness Headland started operation on 20 November 1961 and is constructed of precast concrete rings. Its pattern of black and white bands is impregnated into the concrete. It remains in use today, monitored and controlled from the Trinity House Operations and Planning Centre at Harwich, Essex.
There have been seven lighthouses at Dungeness, five high and two low, with the fifth high one still fully operational today. At first only a beacon was used to warn sailors, but this was replaced by a proper lighthouse in 1615. As the sea retreated, this had to be replaced in 1635 by a new lighthouse nearer to the water's edge known as Lamplough's Tower.
As more shingle was thrown up, a new and more up-to-date lighthouse was built near the sea in 1792 by Samuel Wyatt. This lighthouse was about 35 m (115 ft) high and of the same design as the third Eddystone Lighthouse. From the mid-19th century, it was painted black with a white band to make it more visible in daylight; similar colours have featured on the subsequent lighthouses here. This lighthouse was demolished in 1904, but the lighthouse keepers' accommodation, built in a circle around the base of the tower, still exists.
In 1901 building of the fourth lighthouse, the High Light Tower, started. It was first lit on 31 March 1904 and still stands today. It is no longer in use as a lighthouse but is open as a visitor attraction. It is a circular brick structure, 41 m (135 ft) high and 11 m (36 ft) in diameter at ground level. It has 169 steps, and gives visitors a good view of the shingle beach.
As the sea receded further, and after building the nuclear power station which obscured the light of the 1904 lighthouse, a fifth lighthouse, Dungeness Lighthouse was built.
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