Needles Lighthouse

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Needles Lighthouse
The Needles, Isle of Wight, England-2Oct2011.jpg
Aerial view of Needles Lighthouse
Needles Lighthouse is located in Isle of Wight
Needles Lighthouse
Isle of Wight
LocationAlum Bay
Isle of Wight
Coordinates50°39′44.2″N 1°35′30.5″W / 50.662278°N 1.591806°W / 50.662278; -1.591806Coordinates: 50°39′44.2″N 1°35′30.5″W / 50.662278°N 1.591806°W / 50.662278; -1.591806
Year first constructed1786 (first)
Year first lit1859 (current)
Constructiongranite tower
Tower shapecylindrical tower with lantern and helipad above lantern
Markings / patterntower with red and white bands
Tower height31 m (102 ft)
Focal height24 m (79 ft)
Current lens2nd order 700mm fixed lens
Intensitywhite: 12,300 candela
red (intensified): 3,950 candela
red: 1,800 candela
green 2,860 candela
Rangewhite and red (intensified): 17 nmi (31 km; 20 mi)
red and green: 14 nmi (26 km; 16 mi)
CharacteristicOc (2) WRG 20s.
Fog signaltwo blasts every 30s.
Admiralty numberA0528
NGA number0584
ARLHS numberENG 083
Managing agentTrinity House[1] [2]
HeritageGrade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata

The Needles Lighthouse is an active 19th century lighthouse on the outermost of the chalk rocks at The Needles on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, near sea level. Designed by James Walker, for Trinity House at a cost of £20,000. It was completed in 1859 from granite blocks, and stands 33.25 metres (109.1 ft) high and is a circular tower with straight sides.

It replaced an earlier light tower on top of a cliff overhanging Scratchell's Bay, which was first lit on 29 September 1786. Its height of 144m above sea level meant it was often obscured by fog and sea mists.[3]

In 1987 a helipad was added to the top of the lighthouse, and it became fully automated when the last keepers left on 8 December 1994.[3] One of the last three remaining manned rock lighthouses in England and Wales, before automation it was staffed by a three-man crew operating a 24-hour watch, serving one month on / one month off, living in rudimentary conditions in three levels below the light.[4]

Due to the condition of the chalk strata on which the lighthouse was built, in April 2010 a £500,000 underpinning project was announced, designed to stop the lighthouse falling into the sea.[5] Over a 12-week period from early June, civil marine contractors Nuttall John Martin excavated a trench around the base of the lighthouse, to install a ring of stabilising posts, reinforced with concrete.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Needles The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 3 May 2016
  2. ^ Needles Lighthouse Trinity House. Retrieved 3 May 2016
  3. ^ a b "Needles Lighthouse". Trinity House. n.d. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  4. ^ Nowicka, Helen (15 August 1993). "Last one out, leave the light on: The Needles lighthouse is to lose its keepers as manning is phased out around Britain". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Rescue to save Needles lighthouse landmark". The Mirror. 30 April 2010. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Work to start on crumbling lighthouse". Isle of Wight County Press. 28 April 2010. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.

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