Lowestoft Lighthouse

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Lowestoft Lighthouse
Lowestoft Lighthouse from the promenade (geograph 3985740).jpg
Lowestoft Lighthouse
Lowestoft Lighthouse is located in Suffolk
Lowestoft Lighthouse
Location Lowestoft, Suffolk
Coordinates 52°29′13.2″N 1°45′21.4″E / 52.487000°N 1.755944°E / 52.487000; 1.755944Coordinates: 52°29′13.2″N 1°45′21.4″E / 52.487000°N 1.755944°E / 52.487000; 1.755944
Year first constructed 1609 (first)
1628 (second)
1676 (third)
Year first lit 1874 (current)
Automated 1975
Construction Brick tower
Tower shape Cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern White tower and lantern
Height 16 m (52 ft)
Focal height 37 m (121 ft)
Current lens 4th order 250mm catadioptric
Intensity 380,000 candela
Range 23 nmi (43 km)
Characteristic White rotating – flashing once every 15 seconds
Admiralty number A2280
NGA number 1620
ARLHS number ENG 072
Managing agent Trinity House[1]
Heritage Grade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata

Lowestoft Lighthouse is a lighthouse operated by Trinity House located to the north of the centre of Lowestoft in the English county of Suffolk. It stands on the North Sea coast close to Ness Point, the most easterly point in the United Kingdom. It acts as a warning light for shipping passing along the east coast and is the most easterly lighthouse in the UK.

The lighthouse was built in 1874 and stands 16 metres (52 ft) tall, 37 metres (121 ft) above sea level. The light, which has a range of 23 nautical miles (43 km; 26 mi), was automated in 1975.[2] The original lighthouses at Lowestoft, which were established in 1609, were the first lights to be built by Trinity House.[3][4]


The first two lighthouses in Lowestoft were built in 1609, on the foreshore warn shipping of dangerous sandbanks around the coast. Both were lit originally by candles. By lining up the two lights, vessels could navigate the Stamford Channel which no longer exists. They were rebuilt in 1628 and again in 1676. It was at this time that one light was moved up onto the cliffs above the Denes - the location of the present lighthouse - to assist vessels further out to sea.[2][5]

The remaining 'Low Light' was discontinued in 1706 following sea encroachment, but re-established in 1730 in a form that could be easily moved in response to further changes to the Stamford Channel and shoreline. It was finally discontinued in August 1923. The 'High Light' tower was rebuilt as the present lighthouse in 1874[5] with the intention of displaying an electric light, but when the lighthouse was opened paraffin oil was used instead and it was not until 1936 that it was electrified. The lighthouse, along with two cottages originally used by lighthouse keepers, is a Grade II listed building.[5]

The lighthouse, along with Southwold lighthouse to the south, was threatened with closure by Trinity House in 2005, with shipping companies increasingly using satellite navigation systems rather than relying on lighthouses.[6][7] Both lighthouses were reprieved in 2009 following a review by Trinity House that found that satellite navigation systems were not yet sufficiently reliable.[8]

Current display[edit]

The main light at Lowestoft uses a 4th order 250mm catadioptric lens with a range of 23 nautical miles (43 km; 26 mi). The current light characteristic is one white flash every 15 seconds (Fl(1).W.15s).[2][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lowestoft The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  2. ^ a b c Lowestoft, Trinity House. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  3. ^ History of the Corporation, Trinity House, 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  4. ^ Labrum EA (1994) 22. Lowestoft Lighthouse, in Civil Engineering Heritage: Eastern and central England, pp.132–133, Thomas Telford.
  5. ^ a b c High Lighthouse Including North Cottage and South Cottage, Waveney, British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  6. ^ Landmark lighthouses may be axed, BBC News, 4 August 2005. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  7. ^ Barnes, Jonathan. (4 August 2005). Historic lighthouses face closure, East Anglian Daily Times, Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  8. ^ Lighthouse wins reprieve as sat nav for ships not reliable enough, The Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2009. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  9. ^ Lowestoft Lighthouse, Lighthouse Duo. Retrieved 2016-08-31.

External links[edit]