On This Day in Trinity House History – 9 February

1871

South Stack Lighthouse is lit for the first time

South Stack Lighthouse is lit for the first time. The lighthouse was designed by Trinity House’s surveyor Daniel Alexander and originally fitted with Argand oil lamps and reflectors.

South Stack Lighthouse was first envisaged in 1665 when a petition was presented to Charles II. The patent was not granted and it was not until 9 February 1809 that the first light appeared to mark the rock. The lighthouse, erected by Trinity House at a cost of £12,000, was designed by Daniel Alexander and originally fitted with oil lamps and reflectors.

The chasm between the mainland and the rock was at first traversed by a hempen cable 21 metres above sea level, along which a sliding basket was drawn carrying a passenger or stores. This system was replaced in 1828 by an iron suspension bridge 1.5 metres wide.

In the mid-1870s the lantern and lighting apparatus was replaced by a new lantern. In 1909 an early form of incandescent light was installed and in 1927 this was replaced by a more modern form of incandescent mantle burner. The station was electrified in 1938.

On 12 September 1984 the lighthouse was automated and the last lighthouse keepers left the station. The light and the fog signal are now remotely controlled and monitored from the Trinity House office in Harwich, Essex.

You can find more information about South Stack Lighthouse on our main website.

South Stack Lighthouse 2013

South Stack Lighthouse 2013 copyright Trinity House

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