Lowestoft Lighthouse A2280, Norfolk  UK

Latitude:               52°29''N

Longitude:            1°45'E

Height: of tower:  16 meters

Elevation:             37 m
Character:            FL W 15s
Range:                  23 M

Other lights:          FR Range 18 M

First lit:                 1603


In 1609 Trinity House responded to petitions from ship owners and merchants who had lost men, cargoes and vessels and who’s proposal was to erect two towers, a high and a low light ‘for the direction of ships which crept in by night in the dangerous passage betwixt Lowestoft and Winterton’.

A substantial tower was therefore built in April 1609 on the cliff top overlooking Lowestoft and another on the ness 100 feet below. Both were equipped with glazed lanterns and the lights were tallow candles. Repairs were required twelve years later and in 1628 the high light was completely rebuilt.

The present lighthouse dates from 1676, when Trinity House erected a new high light at a cost of £300 and removed the original lantern in order to install an open grate coal fired light. This caused uproar in the town as dangerous sparks were carried to buildings only eighty yards away. Trinity House was compelled to erect a glazed lantern which greatly reduced the effectiveness of the light. As much as forty tons of coal were consumed here annually.

This tower became known as Pepys tower from the inscription that it was erected during the master-ship of Samuel Pepys. The arms of Trinity House customarily mounted on all it’s lighthouses can be seen. 


In 1777 Trinity House recorded experiments made with reflector lights. The coal fire was replaced with a new glass lantern. Inside was a large cylinder covered with 4000 small mirrors to reflect the light form 126 oil lamps arranged in a circle. The spangle light, as it was known, was said to have a range of 20 miles. The development of lighthouse optics at this period was rapid and by 1796 the spangle light had been abandoned and Argand lamps and silver parabolic reflectors were installed.








The high light was further modernised 1874 and 1899. A new optic was installed and the lantern enlarged to it’s present size. This light is one of the longest established stations in use.

By the early 1920's the Low Light had ceased to fulfil any useful function due to the disappearance of the Stamford Channel and was finally extinguished in August, 1923. The High Light was automated In 1975 and modernized in early 1997.

An old post card of the lighthouse.

Stan's grandfather Charles E. W.  Ball  was stationed at this lighthouse. see Our Family of Lighthouse Keepers





This beautiful cover was issued for the Millennium



Another old post card.

This one is dated 24th July 1913








This old post card shows the lighthouse with a tank in front.






Back to Lighthouse Page

Return to Home Page