The first Trwyn Du lighthouse was built in 1838. A light at this location had been requested for some years by master shipmen at the nearby port of Liverpool, especially after the steamer, the Rothsay Castle ran aground and broke up on nearby Lavan Sands in 1831 with 130 people losing their lives.
The present Lighthouse, built in 1835–1838, is 29 metres tall and was designed by James Walker. It was his first sea-washed tower and a prototype for his more ambitious tower on the Smalls off St Davids in South Wales. The Lighthouse has a stepped base designed to reduce the force of the water at the bottom of the tower and discourage the huge upsurge of waves that washed over earlier lighthouses.
In 1922 Trwyn Du became the first Trinity House lighthouse to be automated when it was converted to unwatched acetylene operation. In the background, you can see Puffin Island, a special protection area for wildlife, well known for its cormorant colony while the waters around the island support large groups of grey seals, and bottlenose dolphins. It’s also unsurprisingly a great spot to see puffins!
The Trwyn Du lamp was converted to solar power in 1996 and the lighthouse was modernised extensively at that time.
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