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HER Number:MDV31
Name:Old Lighthouse on Lundy

Summary

Disused lighthouse linked to the keeper's house. Built in 1819 on a foundation laid in 1787. Ceased operation in 1897. Now a holiday let. This was the highest lighthouse above sea level in Britain.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 131 442
Map Sheet:SS14SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLundy
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishLUNDY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 31819
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS14SW/15
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 91983
  • Old SAM County Ref: 742
  • Old SAM Ref: 27650
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS14NW/SW48

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LIGHTHOUSE (XVIII to XXI - 1701 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, SS14NW/SW48 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV344731.

Lighthouse was connected to fog signal battery by a path marked with small granite pillars. Designed by Daniel Alexander and built in 1820. Abandoned in 1897.


Steinman, G., 1836, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV7199.


English Heritage, 19/11/2014, The Old Lighthouse, Lundy (Correspondence). SDV357507.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted, subject to conditions, for works to lighthouse. The works will consisit of the repair and consolidation work comprising largely the repair and re-fabrication of lower light window frame and roof and re-pointing of damaged areas.


Blackwell, A. E., 1954 - 1955, Lundy Lighthouse, 71 (Article in Serial). SDV7191.

A contemporary newspaper report describing the workings of the light as directed by Trinity House is published. The reason for the discontinuance of the light was the prevalence of fogs on the top of the island .


Department of Environment, 1955, Bideford RD (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV4813.

In 1786 a group of Bristol merchants offered to build a lighthouse. Foundations were laid in 1787 but light not built until 1819 and by Trinity House. Disused lighthouse by Daniel Asher Alexander and Joseph Nelson (Trinity House). On 1787 foundations, new lantern at base of tower added in 1829. Granite ashlar cavity. Wall construction, first stage of tower has granite galleting. Keepers house has rag slate roof with lead rolls to ridge and hips and granite axial stack with cornice. Circular lighthouse at south-west end and keeper's house attached on north-east side by covered passage-porch. Tall round tower, deep plinth with weathered courses, string near top projects as canopy on west side over partly blocked window (originally for fixed lantern). Large moulded cornice at top with balustrade of railings. Large cast iron glazed lantern with conical roof and ball finial with weathervane. Lantern room added on south-west side in 1829, also granite ashlar with curved multi-pane window, now roofless. Keeper's house has solid granite roof, panelled double doors. Two storeys, with pedimented gable facing tower. Granite string course at first floor cill level. Granite band below eaves supports large exposed rafter ends. north-west and south-east side elevations of three bays have projecting bays to right and left, and two and three-light granite mullion windows. North-east end is blind. All sash windows with glazing bars. Interior of tower has spiral stairs with 147 steps. Large granite segmental arch fireplace with granite mantel shelf in central room of house, with similar but smaller fireplaces in back of stack in the 2 small north-east end rooms. Other details: + letter dated 12/10/1976.


Anonymous, 1968, Untitled Source, 196 (Article in Serial). SDV7203.


Ministry of Public Building and Works, 1969, Lundy, The Old Lighthouse (Schedule Document). SDV7190.

Built 1819 on the highest part of the island and became disused in 1897. Well-built granite tower with glass dome and iron platform at top (1845). Two floors at top and cellar and ground floor rooms. Spiral granite stairway around inside of wall. Linked by passage to two-storey house (disused) which has sash windows with continuous overhanging granite dripmould of marked projection and the windows deeply set back. Slate roof with granite coping to gable at tower end. All stonework in good condition but the top of the tower has broken panes and is in need of repair. Other details: Devonshire 742.


Minchinton, W. E., 1973, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 12 (Monograph). SDV7016.


Hague, D.B. + Christie, R., 1975, Untitled Source, 109, 190, 300 (Monograph). SDV7202.


Langham, M., 1986, The Heaven Family of Lundy, 93-121 (Article in Serial). SDV730.


Griffith, F. M., 1987, DAP/IT, 4a, 8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV7186.


National Trust, 1989, Lundy, Devon. Vol. One, 153 (Report - Survey). SDV1275.

Lighthouse stands on the highest point of the island, on Beacon Hill. It was designed by Daniel Alexander and built 1819-20. It comprises a fine granite tower, 99 feet high, with a glass dome and an iron platform at the top. The use of the Old Light was discontinued in 1897 because of the prevalence of fog on the island which completely obscured the light. It was replaced by the North and South Lights which were situated at either end of the island and much nearer to sea-level. The lighthouse was available for renting until the Second World War when it was requisitioned by the Admiralty. It became a hostel for the Lundy Field Society in 1947. It has now been restored by the Landmark Trust and operates as a holiday let. The iron and glass 'laboratory' which looks out to sea on the west of the tower is in poor condition. Other details: 101,171.


National Trust, 1989, Lundy, Devon. Vol. Two, 167 (Report - Survey). SDV344019.


Le Messurier, B., 1992, Life on Lundy a hundred years ago, 14-16 (Article in Serial). SDV7211.


Robertson, P., 1995, Marine Archaeology and Lundy Marine Nature Reserve: An Assessment for English Nature and the Landmark Trust, 3 (Report - non-specific). SDV349969.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, The Old Lighthouse, Lundy (Schedule Document). SDV337658.

Disused lighthouse on the summit of Beacon Hill. The monument is linked to the keeper's house and a small complex of buildings within a walled enclosure. The keeper's house and associated buildings, together with the enclosing wall, are not included in the scheduling. The lighthouse was built in 1819 on a foundation laid in 1787. The architect was Daniel Alexander and the builder Joseph Nelson for Trinity House. The tower is built of granite ashlar and stands about 30 metres high. A deep plinth has weathered courses and a string course near the top projects as a canopy over a partly blocked window on the west side. This window was built as an opening for a fixed light which was never installed. Instead a glazed lantern was constructed with a conical, copper-clad roof and ball finial on the top. In 1829 a second lantern room was added to the base of the tower because the top light was so often obscured by fog. This was also of granite ashlar and had curved glass windows. The roof to this annexe is now missing. Inside there is a stone spiral stair with 147 steps leading to the lantern. This lighthouse was the highest above sea level in Britain and, because of fog, a fog warning battery was built on the west coast of the island in 1861. In 1897 the light was superseded by the construction of the north and south lights. The lighthouse is attached to the keeper's house by a short arched passage on the east side. This is not included in the scheduling. Other details: SM 27650.


National Trust, 2002, The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide (Monograph). SDV7235.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2008, The Old Lighthouse, Lundy (Correspondence). SDV341343.

Scheduled Monument Consent for the installation of a replacement electrical supply cable in a trench from the generator room to the old lighthouse.


National Monuments Record, 2010, 31819 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV344732.

A disused lighthouse on the summit of Beacon Hill, the highest point in Lundy. The lighthouse was built in 1819 on a foudation laid in 1787. The architect was Daniel Alexander and the builder Joseph Nelson for Trinity House. The tower is built of granite ashlar and stands about 30 metres high. A deep plinth has weathered courses and a string course near the top projects as a canopy over a partly blocked window on the west side. This window was built as an opening for a fixed light which was never installed. Instead a glazed lantern was constructed with a conical, copper-clad roof. In 1829 a second lantern room was added to the base of the tower because the top light was so often obscured by fog. This is also of granite ashlar and had curved glass windows. The roof to this annexe is now missing. In 1897 the light was superceded by the construction of the North and South Lights. Scheduled and Listed Grade II*. Other details: SS14SW21. Record last updated: N/A.


English Heritage, 2010, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV154869.

Disused lighthouse and keeper's house. 1819 by Daniel Asher Alexander engineer, and Joseph Nelson builder for Trinity
House on 1787 foundations, new lantern at base of tower added in 1829. Granite ashlar cavity-wall construction, first stage of tower
has granite galleting. Keeper's house has rag slate roof with lead rolls to ridge and hips and granite axial stack with cornice. Circular lighthouse at south west end and keeper's house attached on north east side by covered passage-porch.
Tapering Exterior: Tall round tower, its deep plinth with weathered courses, string near top projects as canopy on west side over partly blocked window (originally for fixed lantern). Large moulded cornice at top with balustrade of railings with moulded cast iron standards and large cast iron glazed lantern with conical roof with ball finial and weathervane. Projecting at base of tower on south west side a lantern room added in 1829, also granite ashlar with curved multi-pane window, but now roofless.
Keeper's house attached on north east by covered passage serving as porch, solid granite roof, panelled double doors with flanking lights. 2 storey house with pedimented gable facing tower supported on square detailed corner piers and with large round-headed recess and 2-light window. Granite stringcourse at first floor cill level slaps the corner piers. Granite band below eaves supports large exposed rafter ends. North-west and south-east side elevation of 3 bays have projecting bay to right and left respectively and 2 and 3-light granite
mullion windows. North-east end is blind. All windows sashes with glazing bars.
Interior: Stone spiral staircase with 147 steps. Central room of Keeper's house was seen, a large granite segmental arch fireplace with granite mantel shelf and similar but smaller fireplace at back of stack in the 2 small north-east end rooms.
Historical note: In 1786 a group of Bristol merchants offered to build and maintain a lighthouse at their own expense. Foundations were laid in 1787 but the lighthouse was not built until Trinity House obtained a 999 year lease in 1819. It cost 36,000 pounds and the tower is 97 feet high. There was a fast-revolving light in the main lantern and a fixed light in a window under a canopy 9 metres below. Both lights
were often obscured by fog so a new lantern room was installed at the base. Because the site is 407 feett above sea level (highest in Britain) the fog problem was not solved and The Fog Signal Battery was built in circa 1861 but eventually the lighthouse was abandoned in 1897 when the North and South Lundy Lighthouses were built. Date listed: 7th October 1991.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.


Historic England, 2018, The Old Lighthouse Lundy (Correspondence). SDV362736.

Scheduled monument consent granted, subject to conditions, for proposed works concerning the replacement and making good of modern staircase spindles.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1275Report - Survey: National Trust. 1989. Lundy, Devon. Vol. One. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. 1. A4 Stapled + Digital. 153.
SDV154869List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2010. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV337658Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. The Old Lighthouse, Lundy. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV341343Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2008. The Old Lighthouse, Lundy. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV344019Report - Survey: National Trust. 1989. Lundy, Devon. Vol. Two. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 167.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #87049 ]
SDV344731Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey. SS14NW/SW48. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV344732National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 31819. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV349969Report - non-specific: Robertson, P.. 1995. Marine Archaeology and Lundy Marine Nature Reserve: An Assessment for English Nature and the Landmark Trust. A4 Grip Bound + Digital. 3.
SDV357507Correspondence: English Heritage. 19/11/2014. The Old Lighthouse, Lundy. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Digital.
SDV362736Correspondence: Historic England. 2018. The Old Lighthouse Lundy. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Digital.
SDV4813List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1955. Bideford RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1973. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 12.
SDV7186Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1987. DAP/IT. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4a, 8.
SDV7190Schedule Document: Ministry of Public Building and Works. 1969. Lundy, The Old Lighthouse. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV7191Article in Serial: Blackwell, A. E.. 1954 - 1955. Lundy Lighthouse. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 76. Unknown. 71.
SDV7199Monograph: Steinman, G.. 1836. Some Account of the Island of Lundy. Unknown.
SDV7202Monograph: Hague, D.B. + Christie, R.. 1975. Lighthouses. Unknown. 109, 190, 300.
SDV7203Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1968. Current Archaeology. 1.8. Unknown. 196.
SDV7211Article in Serial: Le Messurier, B.. 1992. Life on Lundy a hundred years ago. North Devon Heritage Journal. 4. Unknown. 14-16.
SDV7235Monograph: National Trust. 2002. The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide. The Archaeology and Landscape of Lundy: A Field Guide. A5 Paperback.
SDV730Article in Serial: Langham, M.. 1986. The Heaven Family of Lundy. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 118. Unknown. 93-121.

Associated Monuments

MDV30Related to: Beacon Hill, Lundy (Monument)
MDV46Related to: Fog Signal Gun Battery, Lundy (Building)
MDV19596Related to: Lundy, South Lighthouse (Building)
MDV45884Related to: Old Lighthousekeeper's Cottage, Lundy (Building)
MDV46025Related to: STONE in the Parish of Lundy (Monument)
MDV45885Related to: WELL in the Parish of Lundy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jan 4 2019 10:09AM