Casquets Lighthouse

Casquets Lighthouse
Photo: John Best

Casquets Lighthouse is located on rocks lying eight miles northwest of Alderney. It is unusual, as there are three towers on the rock, though only one is still operational.

In 1722, shipowners campaigned for a lighthouse to be erected on the rocks, which Thomas Le Cocq owned. In 1723, Le Cocq obtained a patent from Trinity House with a lease for 61 years at a rent of £50 a year.

Casquets Lighthouse
Photo: John Best

Casquets Lighthouse was established on 30 October 1724. To prevent confusion with other lights in France and England, three towers were built, forming a triangle. Each tower was 30 feet high and had glazed lanterns containing coal fires. The three towers were called St Peter, St Thomas, and the Dungeon (or Donjon). These were built to distinguish the lighthouse from others in the area. Oil lamps replaced the coal fires in 1770.

In 1785 Le Cocq’s lease expired, and the three Casquets lights reverted to Trinity House ownership. Following the handover, the lights were improved. Argand oil lamps and metal reflectors were installed and came into operation in 1790. In 1818, each tower was fitted with a revolving apparatus.

The lighthouses were badly damaged in a storm in 1823, and the height of the towers was increased by 30 feet in 1854. In 1877, the North West Tower was heightened further, and the other two were discontinued.

Casquets Lighthouse was electrified in 1952. The East Tower housed the fog signal equipment, and a helideck was added to the other tower.

The lighthouse was automated in November 1990.

If sailing to the Channel Islands, you may pass Casquets Lighthouse en route.

Tower Height: 23 metres
Light Character: Fl (5) W 30 s
Light Range: 18 miles
Elevation: 37 metres
Automated: 1990