Blacknore Lighthouse

Blacknore Lighthouse

Blacknore Lighthouse is located just south of Portishead. It is only around a mile from Portishead Point Lighthouse and was often referred to as Portishead Lighthouse. As a result, Portishead Point Lighthouse was generally known as Battery Point to avoid confusion.

The headland juts into the Kings Channel, connecting the Severn Estuary with the Port of Bristol.  This part of the Severn Estuary can be very dangerous, having the second highest tidal range in the world.

In 1838 the SS Great Western foundered off Nore Point, highlighting the need for a lighthouse. 

Blacknore Lighthouse was built in 1894 by Trinity House to guide vessels into the River Avon to Bristol from the Severn Estuary.  It was first exhibited on 19th April 1894 and displayed an occulting character.

The cast iron tower is mounted on a six-legged cast iron lattice framework. Originally it was powered by mains gas, and it had its own gas storage tank to ensure uninterrupted supply.


A rotating optic was installed in 1908. The keepers were originally the Ashford Family, owners of Black Nore Farm and the lighthouse landowners.  They would visit twice a day to put in and extinguish the light.  A weight tube needed to be wound up to keep the apparatus revolving.  In 1941 it was automated and electricity was installed. During the Second World War, a switch was installed at Black Nore Farm so that the light could be quickly extinguished if needed.

The optic was removed in 1970, and the winding mechanism was replaced by an electric motor in 2000.

Following a review of navigation aids, the lighthouse was decommissioned on 27th September 2010.  The following year the redundant lighthouse was sold to the Blacknore Lighthouse Trust.  Shortly afterwards the optic was returned on loan from Trinity House.

Blacknore Point can be accessed along the coastal path, and there are various access points onto the path.   There is a walk from Kilkenny Fields past the Windmill Inn and Sailing Club, which is a good route.

Established: 1894
Discontinued: 2010