I have always loved lighthouses. We have visited about every lighthouse along the Eastern Seaboard and many on our trips to the Caribbean and those in California. My late sister and I shared this love and along with her husband and mine we always were on another adventure to visit these beacons of light. Staying in a lighthouse that had been converted to a bed and breakfast was a thrill for us. Just two weeks before my sister left this earthly world, we climbed the Assateague Lighthouse together. Though she was suffering with pancreatic cancer, she scaled the lighthouse with ease. I will never see a lighthouse without thinking of my dear sister, Susan.
When we left St Michael's Mount in Marazion, Cornwall, England we were quite close to Godrevy Lighthouse. It was only natural that we traveled to have a look at this beacon.
The Godrevy Lighthouse sits on Godrevy island in St Ives Bay, Cornwall. After finding a spot to park the car we walked along the beach path to get a better view.
The Godrevy Light stands at 86 feet tall off Godrevy Head. It marks Stones Reef which is the site of many shipwrecks. No lighthouse was built until the the SS Nile crashed here sadly claiming all 40 souls onboard in 1854. There had been many pleas for a lighthouse to be placed here before then. A local clergyman, Rev. J. W. Murray started a petition to Trinity House to have a lighthouse built at Godrevy. Trinity House is the authority for lighthouses and other navigational aids for England, Wales, the Channel Islands, and Gibraltar.
The lighthouse sits in the center of the island. Originally there were cottages for the lighthouse keepers. The lighthouse was designed by James Walker and engineered by James Sutcliffe in 1857. The construction took over a year and the lighthouse became operational in 1859. The first light was an oil lamp powered by a first order Fresnel lens by Henri Lapaute of Paris. A fog bell was also installed. Lighthouse keepers stayed on the island for two month on and one month off rotation. In 1933 a second order lens was installed. By 1939 no light keepers occupied the island and their cottages were removed. In 1995 the light was modernized with solar panels that you can see to the left of the lighthouse.
Godrevy lighthouse is said to have inspired Virginia Wolf to write To the Lighthouse even though she locates her story in the Hebrides on the Isle of Skye. She had spent her childhood summers at Talland House in St Ives that looked at the Godrevy light.
Since it is low tide we saw many folks enjoying the beach among these large rocks. I can imagine there are interesting treasures to be found at low tide. You can really see why a lighthouse was needed.
We enjoyed seeing the coastline of St Ives and were happy to see the lighthouse. After our long day in Cornwall visiting St Michael's Mount and Godrevy Lighthouse it was time for us to make our way back to Devon.
The pastoral scenes of England always delight me! You wouldn't believe how many photos I snapped while Grayden was driving.