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Lizard Lighthouse & Visitor Centre

Photographs  John H. Luxton 2014

On May 28 your web master visited the Trinity House Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre at Lizard, mainland UK's most southerly point. Since 2009 the lighthouse, which remains operational, has also operated as a heritage centre, effectively replacing that which operated at Penzance until the early naughties.

The Lizard Lighthouse, as with other Trinity House lighthouses is automated with keepers being withdrawn in 1998 - monitoring and control takes place from Harwich. The redundant keepers cottages which lie between the two towers are now rented holiday accommodation whilst the former fog signal station at the front of the lighthouse houses a gift shop and the heritage centre. Guided tours are available up the operational tower. The site is located in an exceptional area of rugged coastline and well worth a visit.

  
For further details on the history of the lighthouse and details of the visitor centre - visit Trinity House - Lizard Lighthouse
Lizard Lighthouse complex viewed from the entrance. The narrow gauge railway wagon comes from the former Trinity House tramway at Penzance which used to convey buoys from the dock side to the Trinity House workshops. For many years it stood outside the former workshops whilst they operated as the Trinity House National Lighthouse Centre, but has recently been relocated to the Lizard. The wagon was built by Ashbury of Manchester and well know carriage and wagon  builder for Britain's railways.
This sign points to the extremities of the UK Trinity House operation.
The heritage centre and shop is on the right. Note the stepped passageway which would have enabled the keepers to pass from the cottages down to the fog signal station without venturing outside in poor weather.
The keepers' houses.
"Trinitas in Unitate" - The coat of arms of Trinity House - the General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, Channel Islands and Gibraltar
Inside the engine room in the fog signal station. 
The former Lloyds Signal Station - the oldest surviving purpose built wireless station in the world
The photographs below were taken on the guided tour part of the visit.
The exterior of the fog signal station.,
The east tower which visitors can climb as part of the guided tour.
Looking up the east tower.
Plaque in the East Tower giving details of the erection and modification of the lighthouse.
The Marconi Radio Station huts near the Lloyds Signal Station. - see http://lizardwireless.org
The second order catadioptric optic floats on a bath of mercury. Eventually it will be replaced by a less impressive LED beacon.
The lighthouse clock in the lantern room.
View west from the east tower lantern room.
The service room on the east tower below the lantern room. The green column housed the weight which revolved the optic in the room above. It had to be wound up every 30 minutes. Today the optic is turned electrically and rotates day and night. It is necessary to keep the optic rotating in the absence of keepers as stopping the optic without drawing curtains around the lantern during the day could result in a fire risk caused by magnification of the sun's rays.
 

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