Eddystone lighthouse

jim phillips jim at p...
Sun Sep 5 23:40:41 BST 2004

I have in my possession an old book entitled 'The Story of our Lighthouses
and Lightships' by W H Davenport Adams and printed in 1891 by Thomas Nelson
and Sons. It describes in some detail all the Eddystone lighthouses from
Henry Winstanley's eccentric (you should see the print) first Eddystone
Lighthouse the construction of which commenced in 1696 and which disappeared
completely in a subsequent storm The next Eddystone John Rudyerd's
lighthouse, finished in 1709 and destroyed by fire in1755, did not have a
bell. Then comes Smeaton's tower with the inscription over the door of the
lantern '24th August 1759 Laus Deo' The construction and accommodation are
described in some detail but there is no mention of a bell on Smeaton's
tower. The print of Smeaton's tower at the Eddystone also does not show any
bell. We then come to Douglass's lighthouse the foundation stone being laid
on August 19th 1879, by the then Duke of Edinburgh.
The Duke laid the top course on June 1st 1881. The print of Sir
James Douglass's Eddystone clearly shows two large bells equipped with what
appears to be heavy hammers. The bells are suspended on opposite sides of
the lighthouse just below the lantern. The narrative reads ' The new
Eddystone is equipped with a couple of large bells, suspended under the
lantern gallery, each weighing two tons. In foggy weather these are rung
automatically, so as to give two sounds every half minute.'

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