Happisburgh Lighthouse

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Happisburgh Lighthouse
Happisburgh lighthouse uk.jpg
Happisburgh Lighthouse
Happisburgh Lighthouse is located in Norfolk
Happisburgh Lighthouse
Coordinates52°49′14″N 1°32′13″E / 52.820479°N 1.536950°E / 52.820479; 1.536950Coordinates: 52°49′14″N 1°32′13″E / 52.820479°N 1.536950°E / 52.820479; 1.536950
Year first constructed1791
ConstructionMasonry tower
Tower shapeCylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternTower with red and white bands, white lantern, red lantern roof
Tower height26 metres (85 ft)
Focal height41 metres (135 ft)
Current lensCatadioptric fixed lens
Light sourceMains power
Range14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi)
CharacteristicFl (3) W 30s
Admiralty numberA2336
NGA number1668
ARLHS numberENG-050
Managing agentFriends of Happisburgh Lighthouse [1]
HeritageGrade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata

Happisburgh Lighthouse in Happisburgh on the North Norfolk coast is the only independently operated lighthouse in Great Britain. It is also the oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia.


The building was constructed in 1790 as one of a pair of candle-powered lights ("High Lighthouse" and "Low Lighthouse").[2] It was electrified in 1947. The tower is 85 ft (25.9 m) tall, putting the lantern at 134 ft (40.8 m) above sea level.[3] The other lighthouse - the "low light" - was 20 ft (6.1 m) lower. It was decommissioned and demolished in 1883 before it could be lost due to coastal erosion, its lantern being reused at Southwold lighthouse.[4] Together they formed a pair of range lights that marked a safe passage around the southern end of the offshore Haisborough Sands 8 miles (12.9 km) to a stretch of safe waters known as 'The Would'.[5]

The lighthouse is painted white with three red bands and has a light characteristic of Fl(3)30s (three white flashes, repeated every 30 seconds) at a height of 135 ft (41.1 m) with a range of 14 miles (22.5 km).[6]


In 1987 Happisburgh was one of five lighthouses declared redundant by Trinity House and deactivation was planned for June 1988. Villagers organised a petition to oppose the closure, and as a result the date was postponed.

Under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1894,[7] Trinity House may dispose of a working lighthouse only to an established Lighthouse Authority. On 25 April 1990 the Happisburgh Lighthouse Act[8] received the Royal Assent establishing the Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust as a Local Light Authority, and Happisburgh became the only independently run operational lighthouse in Great Britain.

In popular culture[edit]


See also[edit]


  • Price Edwards, E. (2010). Lighthouse(1884). BiblioBazaar. ISBN 1-146-41637-7.
  • Golding CBE, Capt. Thomas (1929). Trinity House from Within. private printing.
  • Hague, Douglas B.; Christie, Rosemary (1975). Lighthouses - Their Architecture, History and Archaeology. Llandysul : Gomer Press. ISBN 0-85088-324-5.
  • Long, Neville (1983). Lights of East Anglia. Terence Dalton Ltd. ISBN 0-86138-029-0.
  • Stevenson, D. Alan (1959). The World's Lighthouses Before 1820. Oxford University Press.


  1. ^ Happisburgh The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 27 April 2016
  2. ^ "Map of Norfolk". British History Online. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  3. ^ "Lighthouses of the World & Fog Signals" - Alexander Finlay, Richard Holmes Laurie, 1888
  4. ^ Point 2 - The Lighthouse, BBC Suffolk. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  5. ^ Happisburgh Village Website - History of Happisburgh Lighthouse Archived 5 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Happisburgh Lighthouse". Happisburgh Village Website. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  7. ^ Merchant Shipping Act of 1894, part XI (p. 260 of the PDF version)
  8. ^ Happisburgh Lighthouse Act as annotation C9 modification of Merchant Shipping Act of 1894
  9. ^ "The Writer... prochain single d'Ellie Goulding". news-de-stars.com. 21 June 2010. Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010.

External links[edit]