St Bees Lighthouse

St Bees Lighthouse is a lighthouse located on St Bees Head near the village of St Bees in Cumbria, England.

The first lighthouse on the site began its life in 1718 on land brought by Trinity House, one of the UK's General Lighthouse Authorities. It was constructed by Thomas Lutwige who paid a lease of £20 per year for the site. It stood 9 metres tall and was 5 metres in diameter. To make money Lutwidge levied charges of 3½ pence per tonne of cargo carried by vessels to nearby ports. It was burnt down in 1822, perhaps because by that year it was the last coal powered lighthouse in the UK.

In its place an oil fired house was built by Joseph Nelson at a cost of £2,322 and is still in use today. The tower is 17 metres high and stands an average of 102 metres above sea level. In the interwar period the lighthouse was used as a turning marker in the London to Isle of Man air races. During World War II the local Home Guard used it to practise defence/attack strategies although there is no record of ammunition being fired at it. By 1987 it was fully electrified and automated, giving a beam of 134,000 candela which can be seen 21 nmi (39 km) away.

Building Activity

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