Horsburgh lighthouse

The Horsburgh Lighthouse (Chinese: 霍士堡灯塔; Malay: Rumah Api Horsburgh) is a lighthouse which marks the eastern entrance to the Straits of Singapore. It is situated on Pedra Branca island. Singapore's earliest lighthouse by date of completion, it is located approximately 54 kilometres to the east of Singapore and 14 km from the Malaysian state of Johor.

History

The Horsburgh Lighthouse was named after Captain James Horsburgh (September 28, 1762 – May 14, 1836), a Scottish hydrographer from the East India Company, who mapped many seaways around Singapore in the late 18th century and early 19th century. He was called "The Nautical Oracle of the World". His charts and books allowed ships to navigate through treacherous areas of the ocean, saving many lives and property on the seas between China and India. On the wall of the visitors room of the lighthouse there is the following memorial:

A.D. 1851

which in translation reads: The Horsburgh Lighthouse is raised by the British enterprise of British Merchants, and by the liberal aid of the East India Company, to lessen the dangers of navigation, and likewise to hand down, so long as it shall last, in the scene of his useful labours. To the Memory of the Great Hydrographer whose name it bears. Col. W. J. Butterworth, c.b. Governor in the Straits of Malacca.

Location

The lighthouse was built over an outcrop of rocks that for centuries was identified on maps as Pedra Branca (white rocks in Portuguese). It was built by John Turnbull Thomson (1821–1884), a government surveyor. In the presence of Governor William John Butterworth and other dignitaries, the lighthouse foundation stone was laid on May 24, 1850 and the lighthouse was completed in 1851. The lighthouse is also known as Pedra Branca Lighthouse.