The original lighthouse for the western approach to the Solent was the Hurst Tower, sited to the south west of the old Hurst Castle and lit for the first time on 29 September 1786.
The Hurst Tower light was found to be obscured behind the Needles from certain directions; consequently, in 1812, this tower was supplemented by the High Lighthouse, a new tower at a higher level.
In 1865, a new Low Light was built which was attached to the new curtain wall of the castle and in 1867, a new High Light was built to designs by James Douglass. By 1911, shifting sandbanks had left the Low Light out of line with the channel. It was therefore replaced with a red square metal tower, mounted on steel joists alongside the castle wall to enable it to be moved laterally so as to adjust to future changes.
In 1923 both lights were automated with the installation of an acetylene lamp controlled by a sun valve, fuelled from an adjacent producer plant. Electric power was provided at the lighthouse in 1997 and that same year the lower light was decommissioned.
Now known simply as Hurst Point Lighthouse, the tower is open for visitors but cannot be reached by car; access is by foot or boat only.
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