Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse

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Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse
Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse is located in Gibraltar
Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse
Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse
Location Gibraltar Harbour, Gibraltar``
Coordinates 36°08′54″N 5°21′57″W / 36.148395°N 5.365958°W / 36.148395; -5.365958Coordinates: 36°08′54″N 5°21′57″W / 36.148395°N 5.365958°W / 36.148395; -5.365958
Tower shape Square
Markings / pattern Gray
Height 25 Metres
Range Red 5 Nautical Miles
Characteristic F.R.
Admiralty number D 2449.2
NGA number 4240

The Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse is one of several lighthouses in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory at the south end of the peninsula of Iberia. Also known as the Gibraltar "E" Head Lighthouse, its tower is painted grey. The active lighthouse is west of the Rock of Gibraltar and positioned at the elbow of the North Mole at Gibraltar Harbour. The lighthouse is operated by the Gibraltar Port Authority.


Gibraltar Harbour (shown on map), also referred to as the Port of Gibraltar, is on the west side of Gibraltar, at latitude 36°09'N and longitude 05°20'W. In addition to the protection provided by the Rock, the harbour now has a system of man-made defences. These include three breakwaters: the North Mole (formerly the Commercial Mole)[1] with its Western Arm, the Detached Mole (in the middle), and the South Mole.[2][3] The mole was defended by the North Mole Elbow Battery, which operated until as late as the end of the Second World War, with another gun mounted at the end of the mole.[4]

In May 2011, the North Mole was the site of an explosion of an oil storage tank.[5] The South Mole has an extension, and was formerly known as the New Mole and New Mole Extension (to distinguish it from the Old Mole at the northeastern corner of the harbour).[1] Gibraltar Harbour has north and south entrances. The northern entry is between the Western Arm of the North Mole and the Detached Mole. The southern is bordered by the Detached Mole and the South Mole.[2][3]


The Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse (shown on map and pictured in links below) is located at the elbow of the L-shaped North Mole of Gibraltar Harbour. It is positioned at the "E" head of the North Mole,[6] from which the lighthouse derives its alternate name.[7][8][9] The lighthouse and harbour are west of the Rock of Gibraltar, and north of the east end of the Strait of Gibraltar, which serves as access to the Mediterranean.[7][8]

The Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse is a grey, square, skeletal tower, with a height of 25 metres (82 feet).[7][8][10] The skeletal tower has a round harbour control room, watch room, and gallery platform. The light is emitted from a skeletal extension of the main tower which has been installed adjacent to the control room.[8] The lighthouse is operational and is utilised as an aid to navigation, in and near the port.[7] The light characteristic is a fixed red light, with a range of five nautical miles. The active lighthouse has a focal plane of 28 metres (92 feet).[7][8][10]

The lighthouse tower is closed to the public. Opinions differ as to whether the site is open to the public.[7][8][10] The lighthouse is operated by the Gibraltar Port Authority. The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office Admiralty List of Lights and Fog Signals number for the Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Lighthouse is D 2449.2.[8][11] The United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), formerly the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, number is 4240.[8][12]


  1. ^ a b "Gibraltar". Classic Encyclopedia 1911, from the Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh edition. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Gibraltar Port Authority (2010). Port of Gibraltar Handbook 2010–2011. Land & Marine Publications Ltd, on behalf of the Gibraltar Port Authority. pp. 6–7, 13. 
  3. ^ a b "Map of Gibraltar". Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Hughes, Quentin; Migos, Athanassios (1995). Strong as the Rock of Gibraltar. Gibraltar: Exchange Publications. p. 318. OCLC 48491998. 
  5. ^ "Major Fuel Tank Explosion at North Mole: Injuries". Gibraltar Chronicle. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Publication 113 – List of Lights, Radio Aids, and Fog Signals" (PDF). United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2011. p. XI-XIV, 71. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Gibraltar North Mole Elbow Light". Lighthouse Explorer, from Lighthouse Digest Magazine (FogHorn Publishing). Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lighthouses of Gibraltar". Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Port of Gibraltar – Port Map". Gibraltar Port Authority. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c "Portrait Gibraltar (North Mole Elbow)". Leuchttü Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Gibraltar". The Online List of Lights. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Chapter 4: Nautical Publications". The American Practical Navigator. United States Government (as reprinted on Wikisource). Retrieved 25 July 2012. 

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