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Legend has it that on a stormy night in 1750, a fisherman’s wife living close to St Andrew’s Church, Burnham-on-Sea lit a candle in the window of her home to guide her husband’s boat home safely.

After hearing about this lifesaving gesture, local seamen agreed to pay the woman to keep the light burning each night.

Subsequently, the local population provided the funds to place a beacon on the roof of St Andrew’s church tower so that the light was more effective. The church sexton later paid the woman £5 for the rights to place a light on the church’s building, known as the Burnham-on-Sea Seafront Rear Range Light.

St Andrew’s Church behind the Old Round Tower (left)

The church was replaced by Burnham Old Tower Lighthouse in 1801.

The Rear Range light on St Andrew’s Church tower still exhibits a fixed red light and is shown in conjunction with the Front Range light, which is displayed on a street light column in front of the church, on the esplanade.

The church tower has a significant lean, due to subsidence. An orange stripe on a white square on the sea wall aligns with the Rear and Front Range lights.

St Andrews Church Burnham
Leading lights

St Andrew’s Church, Burnham-on-Sea

  • Character: F R
  • Elevation: 12 metres
  • Range: 3 miles