St. Catherine's Lighthouse
The lighthouse, with fog-signal tower attached
St. Catherine's Point|
Isle of Wight
|Year first constructed||c.1323 (first)|
|Year first lit||1838 (current)|
|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|
|Range||25 nmi (46 km; 29 mi)|
|Characteristic||Fl W 5s.|
|Managing agent||Trinity House|
|Heritage||Grade II listed building|
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".
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. 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.
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