One crazy lady and a bizarre obsession = an ongoing tour of the best lighthouses the UK has to offer

UK lighthouse facts

  • All of the UK lighthouses owned by Trinity House have been automated since November 1998.
  • Skerryvore, built in 1844 off of the west coast of Scotland, is the tallest lighthouse in the UK at 48 metres (157 ft).
  • Flamborough Head lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse still in operation in England.
  • Berry Head lighthouse in Devon is believed to be the shortest lighthouse in the UK at just 5 metres tall.
  • The oldest lighthouse in the UK is still visible in the grounds of Dover Castle and is believed to have been built by the Romans around 183AD.
  • The author Robert Louis Stevenson, was a grandson of Robert Stevenson who constructed 15 Scottish lighthouses.
  • St Anthony’s lighthouse in Cornwall featured in the opening credits of the Fraggle Rock television show.
  • The most isolated lighthouse in the British Isles is Sule Skerry, built in 1895, which is situated 59 kilometres from the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.
  • Kinnaird Head was the first lighthouse to be built on mainland Scotland in 1787.
  • Eddystone lighthouse was the world’s first stone tower at sea, built in 1756-9.
  • Unlike many other rock lights that were built before it, Bell Rock lighthouse, located 11 miles off of the east coast of Scotland, was built on a rock that was submerged under 16 feet of water twice a day.
  • Irish engineer Alexander Mitchell invented the concept of the screw-pile lighthouse (a structure which comprises of piles screwed into muddy or sandy sea or river bottoms) despite being blind.
  • Trinity House was created in 1514 by King Henry VIII.
  • A lighthouse must be tall enough for it to be seen before a ship is in danger. The necessary height of a lighthouse can be determined using trigonometry by taking the square root of the lighthouse height in feet and multiplying it by 1.17 to discover the distance of the horizon in nautical miles (best leave that one to the mathematicians, methinks)!

5 responses to “UK lighthouse facts

  1. Alanah says:

    Great fact about Fraggle Rock, gives me a good excuse to watch an episode!

  2. Claire says:

    Great facts page, my 7 year old daughter and I found it very interesting when doing her homework about lighthouses. Thanks for the help!

  3. Helen says:

    Ditto Claire! My 6 year old found this useful for her lightouse homework too. We were amazed that I could be taller than a lighthouse! Thanks

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