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The Second Light House in Great Britain

#LowestoftDaysOfChristmas 7th day.. SECOND LIGHTHOUSE "Lowestoft...oldest established Lighthouse Station in Great Britain" (Caister had the first Trinity House leading lights (1607) - and Lowestoft was second (1609))

This is a timeline of Lowestoft's Lighthouse Stations. 

  • 1575 Christopher Saxton map showed Easton Ness as the most easterly point of Great Britain. Over the next decades, the action of the sea caused the salient to migrate north, to Lowestoft Ness. 
  • 1609 The Trinity Brethren took responsibility for the Lowestoft Light, originally erected by a private individual named Bushell. There were two candle lights on the Ness foreshore. 
  • 1628 The Lowestoft Lights were re-built 
  • 1685 A sea survey by Greenville Collins showed the Standford Channel just off-shore (the name eventually contracted to the Stanford Channel) 
  • 1670's The Lowestoft Lights were re-built again. A few years previously John Clayton had erected a coal-light a couple of miles north at Corton. Clayton's efforts to build lighthouses at various locations around the coast were seen by Trinity Brethren as being a threat to their monopoly. 
  • 1676 Samuel Pepys was elected a Master of the Trinity Brethren, and immediately sanctioned a new Lowestoft lighthouse. 
  • 1676 A new  Lighthouse tower built of brick, this time on the cliffs. This became known as Lowestoft High Light. Trinity in its earlier records sometimes refers to the northernmost of the two Ness Point foreshore lights as the 'upper' light, which can be confusing.
  • There is a famous plaque, originally in the 1676 tower, now inside the present lighthouse tower, celebrating the erection of the 1676 building and Pepys' involvement. 
  • 1706 the remaining Low Light ceased operation, possibly because "...the sea overwhelmed it..."
  • 1730 New wooden moveable Low Light built 
  • 1735 Low Light moved because of changes to Stanford Channel 
  • 1770 Huge storm. On the coast between Yarmouth and Southwold thirty ships and 200 lives were lost. Eighteen vessels washed up on Lowestoft beaches. 
  • 1778 A 'spangle light' was tested for one night on Lowestoft Low Light. The design was never permanently used. 
  • 1779 Low Light rebuilt 
  • 1796 High Light fitted with "eleven Argand burners set in the focus of silvered reflectors"
  • 1803 Low Light rebuilt with larger reflector 
  • 1832 Low Light rebuilt with brick foundation to stop it falling into the sea 
  • 1832 Pakefield Lighthouse (red light) built to help navigate through the channel between the Barnard and Newcombe Sands. The station was made of brick. 
  • 1850 Pakefield LH moved to Kessingland because the channel had shifted. The Pakefield LH tower is still there, in the holiday centre. The light was finally extinguished in 1864. 
  • 1867 A completely new Lowestoft Low Light, made of wrought iron. It was designed to be moveable. 
  • 1872 - 74 The present High Light was built. It had a new optical revolving light, flashing at half-minute intervals. 
  • 1881 Low Light now also flashes. And had to be moved 80 yards inland, because of erosion.
  • 1894 Low Light moved inland again. 
  • 1923 Low Light extinguished, as the Stanford Channel was no more.
  • 1940  Lowestoft Lighthouse was damaged by cannon/MG fire from an Me 110, one of two which circled over the town at dusk on 31 Aug and strafed Sparrow's Nest area. No casualties. 
  • 1974 the High Light is now fully automatic.

CREDIT: Neville Long

NR32 1XP
High Street
United Kingdom


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