First exhibited in 1894, the Black Nore lighthouse was built by Trinity House to guide shipping in the Severn Estuary as it made its way in and out of Bristol Harbour. Until the Second World War, the metal, white-painted lighthouse was lit by gas, supplied from a gas main and stored in adjacent tanks. To begin with it displayed an occulting light (eclipsed twice in quick succession every twenty seconds) with a visible range of 20km. The rotating optic was installed in 1908 when the light characteristic was changed to group flashing (twice every ten seconds).
Until the mid 20th Century, its drive mechanism was wound daily by the Ashford Family, on whose land it was built, and eventually in 1941 the light was converted to automatic electric operation. The light was decommissioned in 2010.
Scheduled for demolition, the structure was saved when bought by a trust fund for the token sum £1 in October 2011.The official handover took place the following January and later that year the lenses (which had been removed along with other equipment as part of the decommissioning) were returned to the lantern on a ten-year loan from Trinity House.
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