St Anthony's Lighthouse

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St Anthony's Lighthouse
St Anthony's Lighthouse
St Anthony's Lighthouse is located in Cornwall
St Anthony's Lighthouse
LocationSt Anthony Head
Coordinates50°08′28″N 5°00′58″W / 50.14115°N 5.016067°W / 50.14115; -5.016067Coordinates: 50°08′28″N 5°00′58″W / 50.14115°N 5.016067°W / 50.14115; -5.016067
Year first constructed1835
Constructiongranite tower
Tower shapeoctagonal tower with balcony and lantern attached to a 2-storey keeper's house
Markings / patternwhite tower and lantern
Tower height19 metres (62 ft)
Focal height22 metres (72 ft)
Current lens1st order fixed lens
Intensitywhite: 210,000 candela
red 42,000 candela
Rangewhite:22 nautical miles (41 km; 25 mi)
red: 20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi)
CharacteristicIso WR 15s.
Admiralty numberA0062
NGA number0068
ARLHS numberENG 141
Managing agentTrinity House[1]
HeritageGrade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata

St Anthony's Lighthouse is the lighthouse at St Anthony Head, on the eastern side of the entrance to Falmouth harbour, Cornwall, UK. The harbour is also known as Carrick Roads and is one of the largest natural harbours in the world.


The lighthouse was designed by James Walker and built in 1835 by Olver of Falmouth, for Trinity House and the original light came from eight Argand oil lamps mounted on a revolving frame. The light was seen to flash once every twenty seconds.[2] Later an additional lamp and reflector were installed 'in the living room of the principal keeper' which shone a fixed light through a square window in the direction of a dangerous cluster of rocks known as The Manacles.[3] (At the time the principal keeper and his family lived in the tower itself, while the assistant lived in the cottage, linked to the lighthouse by a covered way).

A fog-bell was installed in 1865,[4] replaced in 1882 by a larger, two-ton bell, 5-foot (1.5 m) in diameter (reputedly the heaviest bell in Cornwall).[5]It hung from a girder attached to the front of the gallery.[6] A set of weights, descending a 38-foot (12 m) shaft, drove the rotating optic; during foggy weather additional, heavier weights were engaged and the same mechanism then also activated the bell, which sounded four times every minute.[4]

Later, the light source was changed to pressure vapour. A large (first-order) fixed optic was introduced along with a clockwork occulting mechanism; the size of the lens meant that the height of the lantern had to be increased.[4] An electric light was introduced when electricity was connected to the lighthouse in 1954.

Today the light is automated, flashing every 15 seconds, with a red sector for The Manacles and a range of 22 miles. The fog horn blasts once every 30 seconds.[7] When the fog bell which hung from the gallery at the front of the tower, was dismantled in 1954, it was donated to a local church, but after many years of sitting on the church front lawn, was taken away to be melted down.

St. Anthony's lighthouse was featured in the intro of the UK version of Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock, as "The Fraggle Rock Lighthouse". Nearby St. Mawes is also featured in some scenes from the programme.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ St. Anthony's Head The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 23 April 2016
  2. ^ "Lighthouse management : the report of the Royal Commissioners on Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, 1861, examined and refuted Vol. 2". p. 49.
  3. ^ Elliot, George H. (1875). European Light-House Systems. London: Lockwood & co. p. 137. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Renton, Alan (2001). Lost Sounds: The Story of Coast Fog Signals. Caithness, Scotland: Whittles.
  5. ^ "Saint Anthony's Lighthouse and Keepers Cottage". Historic England. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Falmouth". The Cornishman (193). 23 March 1882. p. 4.
  7. ^ Denton, Tony; Leach, Nicholas (2007). Lighthouses of England and Wales. Ashbourne: Landmark Publishing Ltd.

External links[edit]