St. Catherine's Lighthouse

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St Catherine's Lighthouse
The lighthouse, with fog-signal tower attached
St. Catherine's Lighthouse is located in Isle of Wight
St. Catherine's Lighthouse
Isle of Wight
Location St. Catherine's Point
Isle of Wight
Coordinates 50°34′32.4″N 1°17′51.9″W / 50.575667°N 1.297750°W / 50.575667; -1.297750Coordinates: 50°34′32.4″N 1°17′51.9″W / 50.575667°N 1.297750°W / 50.575667; -1.297750
Year first constructed c.1323 (first)
Year first lit 1838 (current)
Automated 1997
Construction ashlar
Tower shape hexagonal tower
Markings / pattern white tower and lantern
Height 27 m (89 ft)
Focal height 41 m (135 ft)
Current lens 2nd order four panel catadioptric
Intensity 821,000 candela
Range 25 nmi (46 km; 29 mi)
Characteristic Fl W 5s.
Admiralty number A0774
NGA number 1064
ARLHS number ENG-143
Managing agent Trinity House[1]
Heritage Grade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata

St. Catherine's Lighthouse, located at St Catherine's Point at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, is one of the oldest lighthouse locations in Great Britain. The first lighthouse was established on St. Catherine's Down in 1323 on the orders of the Pope, after a ship ran aground nearby and its cargo was either lost or plundered. Once part of St. Catherine's Oratory, its octagonal stone tower can still be seen today on the hill to the west of Niton. It is known locally as the "Pepperpot".[2]

The new lighthouse, built by Trinity House in 1838, was constructed as a 40-metre (130 ft) stone tower; however, its light was often obscured by fog, which led to its height being reduced by 13-metre (43 ft) in 1875. It has a range of 25 nautical miles (46 km; 29 mi) and is the third-most powerful of all the lights maintained by Trinity House.[3] Another tower, built immediately alongside in 1932, houses the now redundant fog signal (discontinued in 1987).

Trinity House provides tours of the lighthouse year round. Furthermore, cottages around the lighthouse can be rented out as holiday accommodation.

View of the lighthouse, looking south west out to the English Channel

See also[edit]


  1. ^ St. Catherine's The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved April 26, 2016
  2. ^ Woodman and Wilson (2002). The Lighthouses of Trinity House. Bradford on Avon: Reed. ISBN 1-904050-00-X.
  3. ^ "St. Catherine's lighthouse". Trinity House. Retrieved 30 November 2016.

External links[edit]