On This Day in Trinity House History – 18 May


The current Eddystone Lighthouse is completed

Sir James Douglass’ Eddystone Lighthouse is completed and opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, who laid the final stone of the tower.

When, in the 1870s, cracks appeared in the rock upon which Smeaton’s Eddystone Lighthouse had stood for 120 years, no time was lost in building another lighthouse on the rocks. The task of building a new tower gave ample opportunity to incorporate many of the latest ideas in lighthouse construction, which by 1877 had become a much more refined business, largely due to the efforts of Robert Stevenson, who developed Smeaton’s idea and contributed many of his own. Douglass used larger stones, dovetailed not only to each other on all sides but also to the courses above and below.

Exactly 100 years later, to the day, the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation. This was the first Trinity House rock lighthouse to be converted to automatic operation.


Eddystone Lighthouse course sections

Eddystone Lighthouse course sections

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