Nash Point Lighthouse was designed by Joseph Nelson, Engineer-in-Chief to Trinity House, in 1832 to mark the sandbanks off the point at the entrance to the Bristol Channel.
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The decision to build a lighthouse followed a public outcry after the passenger steamer Frolic was wrecked with heavy loss of life in 1830. The final application to build two lighthouses was made in February 1830 by Thomas Protheroe, together with 439 owners and masters from the Bristol Channel ports
Two circular stone towers were built. The eastern, or High lighthouse being 121ft high and the western or Low lighthouse 82ft high. Placed 990ft apart they provided leading lights to indicate safe passage past the notorious Nash Sands, stretching eight miles westward from the Point.
The High Lighthouse was painted with black and white bands, and the low light painted white. Originally both towers showed a fixed light which was either red or white depending on the direction from which a vessel approached. The red sector shone over the Sands.
The original illumination consisted of double rows of reflectors, 13 Argand oil lamps in the high light, and 12 in the low light. The original lanterns were glazed with rectangular panes. New helically framed lanterns (with diagonal framing) were fitted to both towers in 1867
In 1904 a siren fog signal was established sounding four blasts every 90 seconds. With two massive horns protruding from the roof, the fog signal building is located mid-way between the two towers.
In 1968 the fog signal engines were replaced and the character altered to two blasts every 45 seconds. The fog signal has since been discontinued.
In 1923 the Low Light was discontinued, and in the High Light, a fixed optic exhibiting a white and red occulting light was installed. The Low Light’s lantern was not removed until 1955 when it was noted to be in a dangerous condition
The two black bands on the High Light were removed in 1959, leaving a striking white tower, and in 1963 the lighthouse was connected to the mains electricity supply. During modernisation work at the lighthouse in 1968, the main light character was altered to 2 white and red flashes every 10 seconds.
Nash Point was the last manned lighthouse in Wales, and up to its automation in 1998, was the monitoring centre for Flatholm and Mumbles Lighthouses. Since automation, all lights are monitored from the Trinity House Operations Control Centre in Harwich.
Following automation, the 1923 optic was replaced by a smaller polycarbonate panelled lens. The original optic is now located in one of the rooms lower down the tower
In 1977 a very rare tuberous thistle (Cirsium Tuberosum) was discovered growing close to the lighthouse
Tours can be arranged by appointment with Trinity House.
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