Portland Year Book


Portland Year Book 1905


Portland's first, lighthouses date from 1716, when two were erected at the Bill. In 1789 the Corporation of Trinity House took down one of these and rebuilt it, in a situation to serve for a mark by day or night to direct ships coming up or down the Channel or into Portland Roads clear of the Race or Shambles. In the upper or old house there were then two rows of Argand lamps, seven in each row, lighted with oil and burning a cotton wick of an inch in diameter and furnished with highly polished reflectors. In the lower louse were six lamps of a similar construction, the light, of which was increased by a lens of 22 in. in diameter. The new lighthouse was built by William Johns, of Weymouth. It was 20 feet in diameter at the base and 10 feet at the top with a cornice two feet wide. It was 63 feet high, and was built of Portland stone.

New and improved higher and lower lighthouses were erected to take the place of the old ones in 1869. Another large lighthouse, which will do away with the existing two, was begun in 1904. (See special article.)


The New Lighthouse which is being erected at Portland Bill by the Corporation of Trinity House will take the place of the Upper and Lower Lighthouses. The structure will be 136 ft. in height. It is a massive stone tower and the base of the lantern will be about 115 ft. from the ground. There are large residences for the keepers which will have direct access to the Lighthouse. In the lantern will be an incandescent three light. oil burner, with an illuminating power of 2,500 candles. It will be a revolving light. The foundations of the structure were begun in October, 1903. Messrs Wakeham Bros. (Plymouth) are the contractors. It is expected that the lighthouse will be ready for service in September, 1905.

The Lighthouse
Upper Lighthouse Keepers: Messrs Batten (head) and Withers
Lower Lighthouses: Messrs Taylor (head) and Comben

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