South Bishop Lighthouse

South Bishop Lighthouse

South Bishop Lighthouse is located on the small island of Emsger, five miles off the west of St David’s Head in St George’s Channel.

Applications were made for a lighthouse on South Bishop in 1831 by ship owners from the port of Cardigan. A second application was made in 1834 which was accepted.

South Bishop

The lighthouse was established in 1839. It acts as a waymark for vessels navigating offshore and also guides vessels around the Bishops and Clerks rocks.

Designed by James Walker, and is one of the few remaining UK lighthouses to have square astragals, or panes in its lantern. It is said to be the oldest unaltered lantern in an English or Welsh Lighthouse

South Bishop Lighthouse

The original Argand oil lamps were replaced in 1858 with a modified optic from Lundy, with a reduced number of upper and lower prisms.

It was converted to electric operation in 1959 and a helipad was added in 1971.

South Bishop
The old boat landing stage at South Bishop

The bright light of South Bishop Lighthouse is in the path of migrating birds, and often attracts them to hit the lantern. Trinity House in conjunction with the RSPB have since built special perches on the lantern to help reduce the number of bird strikes.

The lighthouse was automated in 1983 and was then monitored by St Ann’s Head Lighthouse until this in turn was completely monitored by the Trinity House Operations Centre in Harwich.

Established: 1839
Engineer: James Walker
Tower Height: 11 metres
Light Character: Fl W 5 s
Light Range: 16 miles
Elevation: 44 metres
Automated: 1983