Iconic Norfolk Lighthouses
Published date: November 2018
With its long and rugged coastline, Norfolk has always had a strong and important relationship with the sea. The lighthouses dotted along the Norfolk coast have been invaluable, warning vessels of dangerous areas and to also serve as navigational aids. These iconic historical constructions can be seen for miles and are an important part of the Norfolk landscape.
Probably the most recognisable lighthouse in Norfolk, with its red and white striped tower, Happisburgh Lighthouse is also the oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia and is the only independently run lighthouse in Great Britain. Located in the coastal village of Happisburgh, on the north-east coast of Norfolk, it is commonly mis-pronounced, the correct pronunciation being "Haze-bruh".
The lighthouse was built in 1790 and was originally one of a pair. It has an 85ft tall tower and its lantern is 134ft above sea level. Today it is maintained and operated solely by voluntary contributions and has a light with a range of 18 miles.
Happisburgh Lighthouse can be visited on occasional Sundays and Bank Holidays during the summer months. Adults are £5; children 16 and under £1. Children under 1 metre in height are not able to climb the 112 steps to the lantern unfortunately, due to safety reasons. The lighthouse in Happisburgh will be open to visitors from Easter Sunday 2019. Further details and dates will be available nearer the time. Private visits, group bookings and educational visits can be arranged throughout the year. Please go to the following website, to find out more:
Happisburgh Lighthouse, Lighthouse Lane, Happisburgh, Norwich, Norfolk, NR12 0PY
Cromer Lighthouse’s present tower was built in 1833 on an area of the Norfolk coast known as the Cromer Ridge, a hilly area, to act as a navigational guide for passing ships. Prior to there being a lighthouse in Cromer, lights were shown from the tower of the parish church, and although small, they served a useful purpose for many years until the lighthouse was constructed and took over this important role.
The lighthouse is now monitored and controlled from Trinity House’s Planning Centre in Harwich, Essex and became automated in 1990. Octagonal, with a circular lantern, Cromer Lighthouse’s tower is 59 feet (18m) tall and its light is 275 feet (84m) above sea level.
As the lighthouse is automated and controlled and monitored elsewhere, the lighthouse keeper’s cottage has been converted into two self-catering holiday cottages, Valonia and The Link. These are popular holiday accommodation and being adjacent to the Royal Cromer 18-hole golf course, attract golfers and those looking for peace and tranquillity.
Cromer Lighthouse, Overstrand Rd, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 0JH
Old Hunstanton Lighthouse
Old Hunstanton Lighthouse is located on the Norfolk cliffs, between Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton. This iconic landmark was built in 1840, although there has been a lighthouse on this site since 1665. With a cylindrical tower and balcony, attached to a 2-storey keeper’s house, it is very different from the first lighthouse, which was built from wood, with an iron basket of burning coals as a light.
The current lighthouse ceased operating in 1922 and was turned into a private residence, but today it is a self-catering holiday cottage.
Old Hunstanton Lighthouse, Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE36 6EL
Since the 17th century a lighthouse has been known to have stood in this location, with the first one constructed between 1616 and 1618. This was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1687 and had an octagonal tower and was privately owned by the Turner family. During World War II Winterton Lighthouse was used as a lookout tower and afterwards it was turned into a private residence.
This historic lighthouse in the picturesque village of Winterton-on-Sea in Norfolk has been lovingly restored for residential use and is today a stunning holiday cottage.
Gorleston (Range Rear) Lighthouse
Located in the Norfolk town of Gorleston-on-Sea, near the mouth of the River Yare, Gorleston (Range Rear) Lighthouse was constructed in 1878 and was deactivated in 2007. This brick built tapered cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern stands 69 feet, (21m) high and is a Grade II listed building.