Cromer Lighthouse is located on the clifftop near the Royal Cromer Golf Club.
Before a lighthouse was established at Cromer, lights were shown from the tower of the parish church. Although small, these served a useful purpose for many years.
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Sir John Clayton, together with George Blake, obtained a patent in 1669 to erect a tower at Foulness in Cromer with voluntary dues to be paid by the owners of passing vessels. However, many of the shipowners refused to pay the dues required so Clayton could not afford to light a fire in the tower at Cromer, so it served as an unlit beacon only for a while.
In 1717 Nathaniel Life, the owner of the land at Foulness, took steps to light Clayton’s tower. Assisted by Edward Bowell, a Younger Brother of Trinity House, he persuaded the Brethren to apply for a patent, which they obtained in 1719. A coal fire that was enclosed in a lantern was first exhibited on 29th September 1719.
In 1792 Trinity House, now in possession of the lighthouse, installed only the second flashing light apparatus in the Service; 5 reflectors and Argand oil lamps on each of the 3 faces of a revolving frame.
The first lighthouse keepers at Cromer are said to have been two young women.
With the sea encroaching rapidly, large cliff falls occurred in 1799 and 1825. A new lighthouse was built in 1833, and Bowell’s tower was finally destroyed by a landslip in 1866.
The new lighthouse, standing well back from the cliff edge, was a 60ft octagonal tower. The lighthouse was converted to electric operation in 1958, and in June 1990 the station was switched to automatic operation.
The Royal Cromer Golf Course is located adjacent to the grounds.
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