Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Wolf Rock Lighthouse

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1872.

Wolf Rock is a treacherous rock located 9 nautical miles east of St Mary's, Isles of Scilly and 4 nautical miles southwest of Land's End, in Cornwall.

1795 A beacon was erected on the rock

1836 - 1840 A new beacon was erected by James Walker but was carried away in November 1840

1841-3 A new beacon was erected by James Walker but only lasted a season

1844 A new beacon was erected by the father of James Nicholas Douglass

1854 The beacon was destroyed in a gale

1856 James Nicholas Douglass was instructed by James Walker to superintend the replacement of the beacon

1861 A lighthouse, known as the Wolf Rock Lighthouse, was built on the rock by James Walker with James Nicholas Douglass as resident engineer; on the death of Walker in 1862, Douglass was appointed Engineer in Chief to Trinity House; his brother William became resident engineer of the Wolf Rock Lighthouse, who was succeeded by Mr M. Beazeley shortly before completion.

1870 The lighthouse entered service in January 1870.

The lighthouse is 135 ft in height and is constructed from Cornish granite that was prepared at Penzance on the mainland of Cornwall. It took 9 years to build due to the treacherous weather conditions that brew constantly between Cornwall and Scilly.

The light can be seen from Land's End by day and night, and is almost exactly halfway between the Lizard and the Scilly isles. It has a range of 23 nautical miles and was automated in 1988.

The lighthouse was the first in the world to be fitted with a helipad.

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