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Hartland Point Lighthouse, Taunton

3 October, 2016 | 18:00 - 20:00

Permission of Peter Keene, from  ‘The North-West Devon Coast’ 2nd Edition 2013.
Permission of Peter Keene, from ‘The North-West Devon Coast’ 2nd Edition 2013.

About this event

Hartland Point Lighthouse stands on tip of a promontory that marks the end of the Bristol Channel and the start of the Atlantic Ocean. It provides the archetypal image of shoreline lighthouse resolute against a dramatic and, for seafarers, treacherous shoreline.

The Civil Engineering daring do and innovation needed to build 'rock' or off-shore lighthouses has long captured the imagination, but often on-shore lighthouse presented major challenges too. The litany of wrecks on the rocks around the Hartland Peninsular persuaded Trinity House that the Point needed a lighthouse. This was designed by the famous lighthouse engineer James Douglass and the light was first illuminated in 1874.

However the condition of the access road, beset with rock falls and landslips, had seen it compromised to the point where another access was needed. Thus, in the 1980, most of the accommodation at the lighthouse was demolished to make way for a Helipad! The lighthouse has recently been sold into private hands and the new owner is looking to stabilise and improve the safety of the road so that the Lighthouse can be gainfully used and preserved for posterity.

This presentation looks at the history of the lighthouse and its spectacular access road. It explains the research and investigation work and some intriguing findings over recent months! It also sets out the thinking around the proposed solutions and the challenges of doing work at the site.