Great Castle Head Lighthouse

Great Castle Head Lighthouse

Entering into the Milford Haven estuary, Great Castle Head Lighthouse lines up with the Rear Light marking a sharp turn in the Haven channel.

St Ann’s Head Lighthouse guards the western headland of Milford Haven. At East Blockhouse Point on the eastern headland are vast areas of deep water. Lying between this headland and St Ann’s are the Mid Channel and Chapel Rocks, making navigation hazardous for large vessels with restricted manoeuvrability entering the estuary.

This was highlighted by the Sea Empress disaster in February 1996 when the inward-bound tanker carrying 130,000 tonnes of crude oil ran aground on a shallow reef below St Ann’s Head.

St Ann’s Head Lighthouse initially marked the Mid Channel Rocks. Since then, many leading and range lights have been established to guide vessels into the port’s large winding estuary.

Great Castle Head Lighthouse

Trinity House Engineer James Douglass designed Great Castle Head Lighthouse off the headland of St Ishmael’s. The lighthouse was established in 1870 and formed the front light of a pair, providing leading lights to indicate the channel between St Ann’s Head and the Mid Channel Rocks. Both lights displayed fixed white lights.

With the increase in number and size of shipping entering Milford Haven’s port, the Milford Haven Port Authority rationalised their aids to navigation in the early 1970s.

The former rear light was demolished to avoid confusion with a new rear light, an 85ft high tower located half a mile to the northeast close to Little Castle Head.

Both the front and rear lights have a black vertical stripe with a white vertical stripe to either side.

Both lights are located close to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.

Great Castle Head Front LighthouseEstablished: Discontinued: Engineer: James Douglass Tower Height: 5 metres Light Character: Oc W 4 s Range: 15 miles Fog Signal: Elevation: 27 metres Automated:
Great Castle Head Rear LighthouseEstablished: 1970 Discontinued: Engineer: Posford Pavy Tower Height: 26 metres Light Character: Oc W 8 s Range: 15 miles Fog Signal: Elevation: 53 metres Automated: