Caught by the River

Lighthouses of the UK #2: Whiteford Point Lighthouse

Ben Langworthy | 17th April 2018

Illustrator Ben Langworthy continues his mission to draw each of the 300+ lighthouses which litter the UK coastline

Standing at just 44 feet tall, the Whiteford Point Lighthouse was built in 1865 on the beach at Whiteford Point, on Wales’s Gower Peninsula. It is the UK’s only swept cast iron lighthouse and is constructed of 105 bolted-together curved and tapered iron plates. By the 1870s several of these had cracked and a local blacksmith patched them together using iron straps.

The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1926 and since then has slowly fallen into disrepair. This wonderful, dilapidated structure is understandably often a target for photographers, but they’re lucky to be able to visit it at all, as it was used by the RAF as a target for bombing practice during WW2.

A few years ago the local authority put the Whiteford Lighthouse up for sale, offering it up for the price of £1 to anyone willing to take on the rather eccentric fixer-upper. There were several offers, including an American businessman who wanted to have it deconstructed and shipped to the US. Thankfully this didn’t happen and while its future may still be unclear, for the moment at least, this old sentinel sits empty and rusting, bashed by the waves and a home to nesting seabirds.