Gunfleet Lighthouse is a derelict screw-pile lighthouse lying in the North Sea, six miles off the coast at Frinton-on-Sea in Essex, constructed in 1850 by James Walker of Trinity House.
It is 23m in height and hexagonal in plan; mounted on seven piles forming a steel lattice and originally painted red. It was first lit on 1 May 1856, replacing a light vessel which had been on station there since 1850.
When in use, the lighthouse was staffed by two keepers. They were accommodated in a single-storey dwelling, immediately below the lantern, which was divided into a living room (also used as a kitchen), a bed room and an oil room (in which the fuel for the lamps was stored). The walls and roof were of corrugated iron, with wrought iron angle plates. Additional storage space was provided in the ‘inverted pyramid’ beneath the dwelling, which was accessed by a ladder from the gallery. What life must have been like for the keepers in this damp, cramped inverted garden shed, I can only imagine!
The light and fog signal continued to be listed as active into the 1940s, but by 1951 it had been decommissioned.
It remains in use as automated weather station by the Port of London Authority, and marks the northern limit of their jurisdiction.
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