The Old LighthouseDungeness
Dungeness Road
Romney Marsh
Kent TN29 9NB
 
 
 

Two lighthouses stand on the ever increasing shingle promontory of Dungeness, the second largest shingle bank in the world.  This hazard to shipping juts out from the south-east coast 3 miles (4.8 km) into the English Channel.  For 700 years longshore drift has been changing the face of the coastline and history with it.

 
The thin black and white striped automatic lighthouse is currently operational while the distinctive black 1902 Old Lighthouse with its white latticed lantern and gallery is non-operational and open to the public.
 
The imposing building is 150 feet (almost 46 metres) high to the top of the weather vane, 36 feet (11 metres) in diameter and constructed of engineering bricks with sandstone inner walls. Over three million bricks were used to build the structure. Internally there are a series of mezzanine floors made of slate and supported by steel beams and massive rivets. Each floor is linked by circular concrete stairs which hug the walls and have decorative wrought iron banisters. There are cambered casement viewing windows on all floors. The outer gallery is closed during bad weather conditions.
 
It is a long climb (169 steps) to the lantern gallery but the views are magnificent and well worth the climb.  You can even receive a certificate recording your achievement!
 
History
Since 1615 five lighthouses have been built on the site, warning sailors of the treacherous and lethal shoal.  The first one was a wooden tower 35 feet (10.7 metres) high with an open coal fire on top.  This was replaced 20 years later with a brick lighthouse approximately 110 feet (33.5 metres) high.  Time passed and the sea continued to retreat as the shingle banks grew.
 
After 100 years sailors could no longer see the second lighthouse so a third one was built.  This time it was built in a similar design to the famous Eddystone Light and stood some 116 feet (35 metres) tall.  The Round House and cottages that stand beside the Old Lighthouse is the base of this 1792 lighthouse.
 
In the never ending battle with the shingle and the retreating sea, the distinctive black Old Lighthouse was built in 1901.  Standing at 150 feet tall it had an intermittent light, flashing every 10 seconds that could be seen for approximately 18 miles (29 km).
 
This time modern progress intervened with the building of the nuclear power station which blocked the light from the sea.  A fifth and automatic lighthouse was subsequently built closer to the water’s edge where it operates from today.
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Tripadvisor here:    External Link
 
Open
Not open every day.  Check the Lighthouse website for up to date information.
 
Admission Price
Check the official website for up to date information.
 
Facilities
A Souvenir shop, also sells Solleys famous ice-cream, a favourite of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
 
There is ample free parking, and the lighthouse is only a few metres from the terminus of the 15 inch (381mm) gauge Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0)1797 321 300
Mail   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website   Dungeness Lighthouse    External Link
 
Getting There
Refer to the article on Dungeness in this website
 
- By Heritage Rail
Get there by the delightful Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway.
 
Google Maps - The Old Lighthouse