|Year first constructed||1858|
|Tower shape||octagonal tower with balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||white tower and lantern|
|Tower height||13 m (43 ft)|
|Focal height||73 m (240 ft)|
|Original lens||1st order catadioptric fixed|
|Current lens||2nd order six panel catadioptric fixed|
|Intensity||white: 107,000 candela|
red: 17,100 candela
|Range||white: 18 nmi (33 km)|
red: 16 nmi (30 km)
|Characteristic||Iso WR 10s.|
|ARLHS number||ENG 164|
|Managing agent||Trinity House |
|Heritage||Grade II listed building|
Whitby Lighthouse is a lighthouse operated by Trinity House. It is on Ling Hill, on the coast to the south-east of Whitby, beyond Saltwick Bay. To distinguish it from the two lighthouses in Whitby itself (which protect the town's harbour) it is sometimes known as Whitby High lighthouse (and is referred to as such on Admiralty charts)
The lighthouse, a white octagonal brick tower, was designed by James Walker of civil engineers Messrs. Walker, Burgess & Cooper. Foundations were laid on 12 April 1857 with construction carried out by local builder William Falkingbridge of Well Close Square, Whitby. Supervising the construction Henry Norris of James Walker's firm was engaged as Superintendent of the Works on behalf of Trinity House. The light was first lit on 1 October 1858 with costs of construction having run to about £8,000.
Originally, it was one of a pair of towers aligned north-south and known as the twin lights of Whitby South (the present lighthouse) and Whitby North (since demolished); together they were sometimes referred to as the High Whitby lights. The North Light was of a similar octagonal design to the surviving South Light, but taller at 20.5 m (67 ft) (so that, although the North tower was on lower ground, the two lights were on the same focal plane). Their purpose was to show a fixed pair of lights which, when in transit, lined up with Whitby Rock (an offshore hazard to shipping). Each was equipped with a paraffin lamp and a large (first-order) fixed optic designed by Chance Brothers. A pair of single-storey keepers' cottages was attached to each tower.
In 1890, a more efficient light was installed in the South Light, allowing the North Light to be deactivated: an occulting mechanism was installed and a red sector was added marking Whitby Rock. The former Low Lightouse was then demolished but the site was retained for a building to house new fog signalling apparatus, including a compressed air plant powered by two Hornsby horizontal 25-horsepower oil engines. Following trials of different types of signal (conducted at St. Catherine's Lighthouse in 1901) Trinity House took the decision to use sirens at Whitby, sounded through a pair of 'Rayleigh trumpets' (named after the scientific adviser at the trials). Over the next decade or more Trinity House went on to install similar equipment in several other lighthouse locations. Whitby Fog Signal (known locally as the 'Hawsker Bull') was operational from 1903 and continued in use until 1987, the equipment having been updated in 1955. The building, which retains the twin roof-mounted 20-ft trumpets, is now a private dwelling, part of which is also used as holiday accommodation.
Whitby High lighthouse was electrified in 1976 and automated in 1992; the former lighthouse keepers' cottages are now available to hire by holidaymakers.
- Whitby High The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 7 May 2016
- Whitby Lighthouse Trinity House. Retrieved 7 May 2016
- Jones, Robin (2014). Lighthouses of the North East Coast. Wellington, Somerset: Halsgrove. pp. 103–105.
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- "High Whitby (architect's drawing, 1855)". Trinity House. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- Chance, James Frederick (1902). The Lighthouse Work of Sir James Chance, Baronet (PDF). London: Smith, Elder & co. p. 166. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
- Elliot, George H. (1875). European Light-House Systems. London: Lockwood & co. pp. 118–120. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
- "Contemporary illustration". Trinity House. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- "A Blast from the Past". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- Renton, Alan (2001). Lost Sounds: The Story of Coast Fog Signals. Caithness, Scotland: Whittles.
- "Rural Retreats".
- "Whitby Lighthouse". Trinity House.
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