Beachy Head Lighthouse
Beachy Head Lighthouse and sailing boats, moving before brisk wind.
The lighthouse is 43m high, is located about 165m seawards of the cliffs and entered operation in October 1902 (taking over from Belle Tout lighthouse). It was completed in two years and involved building a coffer-dam and a cableway from the top of the cliffs to carry materials, including 3660 tons of Cornish granite, down to the site. Pictures and information about this remarkable feat of engineering can be seen at the Beachy Head Countryside Centre. (Source: www.beachyhead.org )
The Light flashes twice every 20 seconds and can be seen up to 26 miles (42km) out to sea. For over 80 years the light was permanently manned by threekeepers, but it was fully automated and de-manned in June 1983. It is now monitored 24 hours a day from the Trinity House Operations Control Centre at Harwich in Essex.
Trinity House has decided to discontinue painting the lighthouse with red and white stripes, on economic grounds. This controversial decision means that the lighthouse will fade to granitic grey. In the modern world of GPS, nearly all ships can safely negotiate the sees without the need for lighthouses so their upkeep has ceased to be essential.