Trevose Head Lighthouse

Trevose Head Lighthouse

Trevose Head Lighthouse was first lit on 1st December 1847.  Located on the northwest extremity of the headland.  The cliffs here rise up to up 150 feet, and the tower was regularly shrouded in mist, although a fog signal was not initially installed.

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A lighthouse for this stretch of coast was first proposed in 1809. At the time there were no significant lights on either the north Cornish or Devon coasts other than at Longships and Lundy Island. However, it took until 1st December 1847 before a light was finally established at Trevose Head. The tower was built on the northwest extremity of the headland.

Originally two fixed lights were displayed at Trevose Head.  The High Lighthouse still stands, and a separate Low Light housed a second lantern at the base of the tower.

In 1882 the main light was changed to an occulting character, whereby the period that the light shown is greater than the time eclipsed.  The Low Light was then discontinued, and the complement of lighthouse keepers increased from two to three.

Lighthouse and fog horn
Trevose Head and foghorn
Photo: John Frost Collection

Fog Signal

In the autumn of 1911, the dwellings underwent extensive alterations, and work to construct a fog signal began.  The new fog signal went into operation on 6th February 1913.

The new foghorn, an enormous trumpet, was developed by Lord Rayleigh, Scientific Adviser to Trinity House.  Rayleigh was experimenting at that time with new types of fog signals.  This horn stayed in use until a new Supertyphon signal was introduced in 1963.

Trevose Head Lighthouse

A new first-order optic was installed in 1912 and the character was altered to a flashing red light.

Trevose Head Lighthouse was automated in 1995. The light character was altered, and the fog signal was replaced by an omnidirectional fog signal controlled by a fog detector.

The fog signal was discontinued in May 2012.

Stepper Point Daymark

Stepper Point and Pentire Point are headlands at the entrance to the River Camel and Padstow Bay.  Entry into Padstow Harbour over the Doom Bar can be tricky, and many rocks lie offshore.

Stepper Point Daymark
Stepper Point Daymark

A 40 feet high tapering stone daymark was erected in 1830 at Stepper Point headland on the western entrance to the river.  The daymark is accessible along the South West Coast Path.

Some, but not all of the cottages are dog friendly.


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Established: 1847
Engineer: James Walker
Tower Height: 27 metres
Light Character: Fl 7.5s
Light Range: 21 miles
Elevation: 62 metres
Automated: 1995