Happisburgh Light


Happisburgh lighthouse photographed by Matthew Field – and published by the Wikimedia Commons.

East Anglia’s oldest working lighthouse and Great Britain’s only independent lighthouse, Happisburgh (pronounced ‘haysburgh’) Light was built in 1790, and was taken over by local residents in the late 1980s – and is still operating, operated by volunteers and supported by voluntary contributions. Well done them!

It was built following a severe winter storm in 1789, during which 70 sailing ships and 600 men were lost. An subsequent inquiry drew attention to the lack of lights between the fire beacon at Cromer and the candle-powered light at Winterton.

Today the lighthouse is painted white with three red bands, and has a light charcteristic of Fl (3) W 30s (three white flashes, repeated every 30secs) with a range of 18 miles.

Originally it was one of a pair that formed leading lights that marked safe route round Happisborough Sands. The second light is now long gone.

The light is celebrated in an old song – albeit one that has been found in versions that mention other lights around the country. Here is is sung by celebrated bargeman Bob Roberts.

Saved as a working light by the local community, it is maintained and operated entirely by voluntary contributions.

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