Nash Point Lighthouse

Nash Point Lighthouse was built in 1832 to mark the sandbanks off the point at the entrance to the Bristol Channel.  The treacherous Nash Sands stretch eight miles westward from the point.    

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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. An application to build two lighthouses was made in February 1830.  Thomas Protheroe petitioned with 439 owners and masters from the Bristol Channel ports

Two circular stone towers were built, 990 feet apart, designed by Joseph Nelson, Engineer in Chief to Trinity House. The eastern, or High lighthouse is 121 feet high and the western or Low lighthouse is 82 feet high. When aligned they formed leading lights indicating safe passage past the notorious Nash Sands.  

Nash Point Low Light

The High Lighthouse was painted with black and white bands, and the low light was 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 Nash 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.

Nash Fog Signal

Nash Point fog signal

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.

Nash Point generator

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.   

Low Lighthouse

In 1923 the Low Light was discontinued, and a fixed optic exhibiting a white and red occulting light was installed in the High Light. The Low Light’s lantern was removed in 1955 when it was noted to be in a dangerous condition.

Nash Point Low Light

The two black bands on the High Light were removed in 1959, leaving a striking white tower. 

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. Up to its automation in 1998, it was the monitoring centre for Flatholm and Mumbles Lighthouses. Since automation, all lights are monitored from the Trinity House Operations Control Centre in Harwich. 

Nash Point optic

Following automation, a smaller polycarbonate panelled lens replaced the 1923 optic. The original optic is now located in one of the rooms lower down the tower.

Nash Point optic
The former optic, now located further down the tower

In 1977 a very rare tuberous thistle (Cirsium Tuberosum) was discovered growing close to the lighthouse


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Nash Point High LighthouseEstablished: 1 September 1832 Discontinued: Engineer: Joseph Nelson Tower Height: 37 metres Light Character: Fl (2) W R 15 s Range: W 21 miles, R 16 miles Fog Signal: Discontinued Elevation: 56 metres Automated: 1998
Nash Point Low LighthouseEstablished: 1st September 1832 Discontinued: 1920s Engineer: Joseph Nelson Tower Height: 26 metres Light Character: Range: Fog Signal: Elevation: Automated: