The Needles Lighthouse is located on the outermost of the chalk rocks at The Needles on the Isle of Wight, near sea level. The tower was designed by James Walker, for Trinity House at a cost of £20,000.
In 1781 a group of merchants and ship owners petitioned Trinity House for navigation lights to be provided around the western approaches to the Solent. Construction began in 1785, on three new lighthouses: one on the clifftop above the Needles, one on Hurst Point and one on St Catherine’s Down (which was never completed). Because of its height at 151 m above sea level, the cliff-top lighthouse was often obscured by fog and sea mists, a problem that eventually led to its replacement some 70 years later.
The current tower was completed in 1859 from granite blocks, standing almost 34 metres metres high and is a circular tower with straight sides. A helipad was built on top of the lighthouse in 1987 and the station was automated in 1994 with the keepers leaving for the last time on 8 December that year.
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