Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, Dorset
The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse in 2012
|Location||Isle of Portland
|Coordinates||Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|Year first constructed||1905|
|Construction||cast iron skeletal tower|
|Tower shape||hexagonal pyramidal tower with central cylinder, balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||white tower and lantern|
|Height||22 metres (72 ft)|
|Focal height||22 metres (72 ft)|
|Characteristic||Fl W 10s.|
|Managing agent||Portland Harbour Authority|
The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse is a functioning lighthouse located at the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. The lighthouse is located in the commercial port of Portland Harbour, situated on the southern end of northeast breakwater, sitting close to the main derelict Portland Breakwater Fort, where the lighthouse operates in one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. It is often rather forgotten by the public in regard to Portland's lighthouses.
The lighthouse was established in 1905 and has continued to function ever since. The first Portland breakwater light was shown in 1851, and afterwards from the fort at the end of the breakwater as then completed in 1876, before the lighthouse first shone out in 1905.
The grand structure that sits alone on A-Head at the south end of the middle Breakwater. The lighthouse is at the height of 22 metres and is a white hexagonal structure. Surrounding the lighthouse a small fort and various defensive buildings such as pillboxes.
The lighthouse was originally lit by oil in the early 20th century, before it was changed to gas which used a clockwork turning mechanism. Today it is lit electrically with a modern LED lamp. In its current state, the lighthouse remains somewhat worn but still usable, after both weather and vandals have taken toll on it.
A reported rumour in recent years spoke of the plans for the lighthouse to be removed, and refitted in Osprey Quay as a centre piece, as an attempt to give the lighthouse a new lease of life. The lighthouse's current use continues to aid navigation of boats in the area, protecting mariners from collision with the Breakwaters, where it gives a white flash every 10 seconds. One of the lighthouse's disused optical lens is displayed at Weymouth Museum, within Brewers Quay.
|“||I was a supernumerary Assistant Keeper at Portland Breakwater Lighthouse in 1966 - I did 2 two month stints. We lived in one of the buildings, just down from the light tower. We had to climb them every two hours during the night to wind up the lens and pump oil up to the lamp. The breakwater was shared with about a million rats and each time you went out at night there would be a carpet of them fleeing from the torchlight. We took it in turns to go ashore for one morning a week.||”|
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