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Lighthouses On The Isle Of Wight

Lighthouses on the Isle of Wight are main landmarks here on the island. It is an ideal location for lighthouse enthusiasts to visit. Under you will see information relating to the lighthouses on the Isle of Wight.

Set in the western approaches to the Isle of Wight, the Needles kind a slender chalky peninsula which rises from jagged rocks to 120m cliffs. These rocks have all the time been a hazard to ships making their way up the Solent to Portsmouth and Southampton Water.

In 1781 merchants and shipowners petitioned Trinity Home for a lighthouse. They obtained a patent in January 1782 which directed that lights must be kept burning in the nightseason whereby seafaring men and mariners might take notice and keep away from danger….. and ships and other vessels of warfare may safely cruise in the course of the night season within the British Channel.

Negotiations must have failed as a result of it was not until 1785 that Trinity House erected to the designs of R. Jupp, for 30 years surveyor to the East India Firm, three lighthouses on the Needles, St. Catherine’s Level and Hurst Point. The Needles tower was lighted on the 29th September 1786. As the tower was situated on prime of a cliff overhanging Scratchell’s Bay, the sunshine which was 144m above sea stage was usually obscured by sea mists and fog and was therefore of limited use to mariners.

In 1859 Trinity House deliberate a new lighthouse to be built on the outermost of the chalk rocks near sea degree. It was designed by James Walker and cost £20,000. The circular granite tower has perpendicular sides and is 33.25m high, of uniform diameter with an unevenly stepped base to break the waves and discourage sea sweeping up the tower. The wall varies from 1.07m in thickness on the entrance, to zero.61m at the top. Much of the bottom rock was reduce away to form the inspiration and cellars and storehouses have been excavated in the chalk.

The light at the Needles has two white, two purple and one green sector, with one of the pink sectors intensified, these are set out as follows:

• Pink intensified sector shore to 300 marks the St Anthony Rocks
• White sector 300 to 083 marks the method to the Needles Channel from the west
• Red sector 083 to 212 marks the Shingles Financial institution
• White sector 212 to 217 marks the course via the Needles Channel
• Green sector 217 to 224 marks a safe channel previous the Hatherwood Rocks and the Warden Ledge

A helipad was constructed on top of the Needles Lighthouse in 1987.
The Needles Lighthouse was automated in 1994, the keepers left the lighthouse for the final time on 8th December. Needles was the final Trinity House lighthouse powered by 100V DC electricity from it is own generators; to enable the automation to be carried out mains energy has been provided via a subsea cable from the Needles Battery, which supplies 240V AC power for the new gear.

The original optic with it’s preparations of green and crimson glass giving the totally different coloured sectors of gentle remained after automation however a new three place lampchanger was put in with two 1500W 240V essential lamps and a 24V battery powered emergency lamp.

The supertyphon air pushed fog sign was replaced by two Honeywell ELG 500 Hz directional fog indicators managed by the use of a fog detector. The emitter stacks have been mounted at gallery degree outside the helideck structure.

The Needles is monitored and managed via a cellphone telemetry link from the Trinity House Operations Management Centre at Harwich, Essex.

Established : 1786
Height Of Tower: 31 Metres
Height Of Mild Above Mean High Water: 24 Metres
Automated: 1994
Lamp: 1500W 240V
Optic: 2nd Order 700Mm Fastened Lens
Character: White, Red And Inexperienced Group Occurring Twice Every 20 Seconds (Light 14 Seconds, Eclipse 2 Seconds, Mild 2 Seconds, Eclipse 2 Seconds)
Intensity: Red (Intensified) 3,950 Candela, White 12,300 Candela, Red 1,800 Candela, Green 2,680 Candela
Range Of Mild: Pink (Intensified) 17 Sea Miles, White 17 Sea Miles, Crimson 14 Sea Miles, Inexperienced 14 Sea Miles
Fog Sign Character: Sounding Twice Every 30 Seconds

St Catherine’s Lighthouse is situated at Niton Undercliffe, 5 miles from Ventnor on the Isle of Wight and comprises a white octagonal tower with 94 steps up to the lantern. The main mild, seen for up to 30 nautical miles in clear weather is the third most highly effective light in the Trinity House Service giving a guide to delivery within the Channel as well as vessels approaching the Solent.

There is a fixed crimson subsidiary light displayed from a window 7 metres under the primary gentle and shown westward over the Atherfield Ledge. It is seen for 17 miles in clear weather, and was first exhibited in 1904. Each lights are electric, and standby battery lights are offered in case of a power failure.

A small mild was first arrange at St. Catherine’s in about 1323 by Walter de Godyton. He erected a chapel and added an endowment for a priest to say Lots for his family and to exhibit lights at night to warn ships from approaching too close to this dangerous coast, both purposes being fulfilled till about 1530 when the Reformation swept away the endowment. Neither the present lighthouse tower lighted in March 1840, nor the chapel of which the ruins remain, held these historic lights. The current tower was constructed in 1838 following the loss of the sailing ship CLARENDON on rocks close to the site of the present lighthouse. The lighthouse was constructed of ashlar stone with dressed quoins and was carried up from a base plinth as a 3 tier octagon, diminishing by phases. The elevation of the light proved to be too high, as the lantern often grew to become mist capped and in 1875 it was decided to decrease the light 13 metres by taking about 6 metres out of the uppermost part of the tower and about 7 metres out of the middle tier, which destroyed its beauty and made it appear dwarfed.

At that time the fog signal house was situated close to the sting of the cliff but owing to erosion and cliff settlements the building developed such serious cracks that in 1932 it became necessary to search out a new place for the fog signal, which was ultimately mounted on a lower tower annexed to the front of the lighthouse tower, and constructed as a small replica. The resultant effect has been to offer a nicely proportioned step down between the two towers which are now expressively referred to by stone island keyring the native inhabitants as “The Cow and the Calf”. The fog signal was discontinued in 1987.

A tragic incident occurred at the station throughout the Second World War. On the 1st June 1943 a bombing raid destroyed the engine house killing the three keepers on obligation who had taken shelter within the constructing. R.T. Grenfell, C. Tomkins and W.E. Jones were buried within the local cemetery at Niton village and a plaque in remembrance of them is displayed on the bottom ground of the primary tower.

St Catherine’s Lighthouse was automated in 1997 with the keepers leaving the lighthouse on 30 July.

The lighthouse had been a weather reporting station for the Meteorological Workplace for some years;the keepers made hourly reports which included the temperature, humidity, cloud top and formation and wind course and pressure. Following demanning of the lighthouse an automated weather reporting station was put in which sends particulars of the weather conditions to the Met. Workplace.

The lighthouse itself is now monitored and controlled from the Trinity House Operations Management Centre at Harwich in Essex.

Established: 1323
Height Of Tower: 27 Metres
Height Of Mild Above Mean High Water: 41 Metres
Automated: 30 July 1997
Lamp: 2 X four hundred W Mbi Lamp
Optic: 2nd Order 4 Panel Catadioptric
Character: One White Flash Each 5 Seconds
Depth: 927,000 Candela
Range Of Gentle: 26 Sea Miles

EGYPT Level (This light isn’t operational)
Photograph: Steven Winter

Location: Cowes
Tower Height: 25 ft.
Description of Tower: Red post with white lantern, on round white base.
Date Established: 1897
Date Current Tower Constructed: 1897
Date Deactivated: 1989

This curious looking object a few miles to the South East of Bembridge started life throughout the primary World Conflict as part of an anti-submarine defence system. During 1916 the British Admiralty, alarmed by the losses of allied merchant transport to German U-boats designed four or six towers that had been to be built and positioned in the Straits of Dover. They would be linked together with steel nets and armed with two four” guns. Nevertheless when the Armistice was signed in 1918 only one of many planned towers was anyplace near completion. The others have been dismantled, however what was to be accomplished with this 92 foot tall metallic cylinder (costing one million pounds sterling, in these days), sitting on its raft of concrete

Until the tip of the first World Struggle the dangerous Nab Rock had been marked by a lightship, and it was determined to substitute this with a fixed lighthouse. The new lighthouse was floated into place and the concrete raft (189ft long, by 150ft wide, by 80ft deep) flooded so the tower may sit on a shingle bank near the Nab Rock.

As can be seen from the photograph the tower took up a distinct angle (three levels from the vertical in direction of the Northeast) when it settled. The lighthouse was once manned by a crew of four, but in frequent with all Britain’s lighthouses it’s now unmanned and is absolutely automated.

During WWII the Nab was armed with two 40mm Bofors Guns and was credited with capturing down 3½ enemy aircraft (the half was shared with a passing ship).

The tower nonetheless provides a welcoming sight to seafarers returning to the Solent at the end of their voyage. In November 1999 the Nab was hit by a freighter, the Dole-America, carrying a cargo of bananas and pineapples. The ship was badly damaged and only avoided sinking by being run-aground. The bottom of the tower suffered only superficial damage.

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