Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of LIGHTKEEPER'S HOUSE
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Statutory Address:
Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 13204 44290



SS14SW Old Lighthouse and Lightkeeper's 1938-0/2/9 House


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. NW and SE 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 407ft above sea level (highest in Britain) the fog problem was not solved and The Fog Signal Battery (qv) was built in circa 1861 but eventually the lighthouse was abandoned in 1897 when the North and South Lundy Lighthouses (qv) were built. (Lighthouses, Their Architecture, History and Archaeology:D B Hague and R. Christie; Lundy:A and M Langham; Trinity House).

Listing NGR: SS1320444290


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Hague, B, Christie, R, Lighthouses their Architecture History and Archaeology, (1975)
Langham, A, Langham, M, Lundy, (1970)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 03 May 2005
Reference: IOE01/13599/12
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Anthony Chapman. Source Historic England Archive
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