Ed Pearce‘s Today’s Memory
The first lighthouse built on a rock in the open sea
Originally shared by Ed Pearce
The light was lit on Winstanley’s Tower, the first lighthouse built on a rock in the open sea, on November 14, 1698.
The Eddystone Rocks were a major shipwreck hazard for mariners sailing through the English Channel. The first lighthouse built there was an octagonal wooden structure, anchored by twelve iron stanchions secured in the rock, and was built by Henry Winstanley in the late 17th century. Winstanley’s lighthouse was the first tower in the world to have been fully exposed to the open sea.
The first Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703 on November 27, 1703.
The cost of construction and five years’ maintenance of the first Eddystone Lighthouse totaled £7,814 7s.6d, during which time dues totaling £4,721 19s.3d had been collected at one penny per ton from passing vessels.