The Calf of Man boasts no fewer than three lighthouses; two lighthouses were built in 1818 by Robert Stevenson to warn mariners of the hazards of the Chicken Rocks off the south end of the Calf. These were replaced in 1875 by a lighthouse built on the Chicken Rocks themselves. In 1968, a third lighthouse was built on the Calf after a severe fire destroyed the Chicken Rocks light. This was discontinued in 2005.
A scheme to place a lighthouse on the Calf of Man was considered as early as 1658, prompted by the concern of Liverpool merchants, but opposed by Trinity House on the grounds that the dues would be burdensome. A later survey of the Calf of 1771 shows a light though no trace exists beyond a pile of stones.
Eventually two lighthouses were built on the Calf, the High and Low lights, placed so that line of their lights pointed towards the submerged rock off the southern extremity of the island known as Chicken Rock. These marked the treacherous waters for a period of nearly 60 years until the the Northern Lighthouse Commissioners approved a recommendation to build a light tower on the Chicken Rock itself due to the fact that the two Calf lights were often enveloped in fog. The two lighthouses were subsequently retired with the opening of Chicken Rock in 1875.
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