Smalls Lighthouse stands on the largest of a group of wave-washed basalt and dolerite rocks known as The Smalls approximately 32km west of Marloes Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
It was erected in 1861 by engineer James Douglass to replace the previous lighthouse which had been built on the same rock.
The original Smalls Lighthouse was built between 1775 and 1776, to the plans of Liverpool musical-instrument maker Henry Whiteside. It stood on nine oak pillars, allowing the sea to pass through beneath. It stood for 80 years.
The old lighthouse brought about a change in lighthouse policy in 1801 after a gruesome incident where one of the two keepers died in a freak accident and the second keeper, Thomas Howell, fearing he might be accused of murder if he discarded the body in the sea was forced to live with the cadaver for weeks until the weather eased and rescue was possible. In spite of his former partner’s decaying corpse and working the lighthouse alone, Howell was able to keep the house’s lamp lit.
When he was finally relieved of duty, the impact of the situation was so emotionally taxing that his friends did not recognise him.
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