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Upper Lighthouse, Calf of Man

Period: 1818

NGR Easting: 214990

NGR Northing: 465700

Description: Lighthouse. This lighthouse, together with its twin nearby, was built in 1818 for the Northern Lighthouse Board to the designs of Robert Stevenson, one of the Board’s most famous engineers.

The two lighthouses worked in tandem, indicating to passing ships if they were in danger of colliding with the Chicken Rock nearly 2km to the south. The Stevenson lighthouses were replaced by a lighthouse on the Chicken Rock itself in 1875, after several difficult years of construction. More recently a modern light, warning of the dangers of the Calf of Man itself rather than the sinister reef to the south, was installed close to the old Stevenson towers in 1967, but this was decommissioned in 2007 as unnecessary in the modern age of satellite-enabled navigation and global positioning. The Chicken light was upgraded at the same time so that its light is visible from a distance of 21 miles.

In common with many of the NLB’s installations, each lighthouse was attached to a keeper’s house, with adjoining garden and other basic facilities. The buildings are now maintained as nesting sites for birdlife in keeping with the status of the Calf of Man as a nature reserve and bird observatory.

View map location on Archaeology Data Service

Site & Monument Type: lighthouse

Category: National Monuments Record: Statutory Ancient Monuments

Site ID number: 0174.00


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