Walney Lighthouse

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Walney Lighthouse
Track to Walney Lighthouse - geograph.org.uk - 839430.jpg
The lighthouse photographed in 2008
Walney Lighthouse is located in Cumbria
Walney Lighthouse
LocationWalney Island
Coordinates54°02′55″N 3°10′38″W / 54.048670°N 3.177216°W / 54.048670; -3.177216Coordinates: 54°02′55″N 3°10′38″W / 54.048670°N 3.177216°W / 54.048670; -3.177216
Year first constructed1790 (first)
Year first lit1804 (current)
Constructionstone tower
Tower shapeoctagonal tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower and lantern
Tower height24 m (79 ft)
Focal height21 m (69 ft)
Range23 nautical mile Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicLFl W 15s.
Admiralty numberA4820
NGA number5052
ARLHS numberENG-161
Managing agentLancaster Port Commission[1]
HeritageGrade II* listed building Edit this on Wikidata

Walney Lighthouse is a functioning lighthouse located on Walney Island in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. The current building dates to the early 19th-century and is Grade II* listed as well as being the southernmost man-made structure in Cumbria.[2]

Completed in 1804, the stone lighthouse and its attached cottages actually predate Barrow and its port.[3] The structure was built to replace a smaller wooden lighthouse that was constructed by the Lancaster Quay Commissioners in 1790 to aid in navigation towards the docks at Glasson close to Lancaster and the River Lune.[3] It contained three 3-foot (0.91 m) reflectors mounted on a slowly-revolving shaft; the reflectors consisted of a concave wooden frame covered with small pieces of mirrored glass.[4]

The original lighthouse was destroyed by fire in 1803 and was swiftly replaced by the lighthouse of today. The lighthouse was designed by engineer E. Dawson. The optical system (as renewed in 1846) was a clockwork-driven rotating array of four Argand lamps backed by parabolic reflectors, which gave a white flash once a minute.[5]

The lighthouse saw little change until 1909, when an acetylene gaslight system was installed, this was again changed in 1953 to a 'manned' electric light and rotation system (still with the four reflectors),[6] flashing once every fifteen seconds.[4] In 2003, when it was finally automated, Walney was the last manned lighthouse in England.[7] It was also the last to be using a catoptric apparatus;[4] that year the reflectors were replaced by a modern electric light unit.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Walney Lighthouse The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 6 May 2016
  2. ^ "Walney Lighthouse with Two Attached Cottages and Outbuildings". English Heritage. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Walney Lighthouse". Walney Web. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "The Walney Lighthouse". Glasson Sailing Club. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Lighthouse management : the report of the Royal Commissioners on Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, 1861, examined and refuted Vol. 2". pp. 323–324.
  6. ^ Photo of keeper, lamps and reflectors in 1994.
  7. ^ "Port of Lancaster". History. Retrieved 23 February 2019.

External links[edit]