History in Structure

Dungeness Lighthouse

A Grade II* Listed Building in Lydd, Kent

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Latitude: 50.9134 / 50°54'48"N

Longitude: 0.976 / 0°58'33"E

OS Eastings: 609293

OS Northings: 116882

OS Grid: TR092168

Mapcode National: GBR T12.MKY

Mapcode Global: FRA D6YP.D1Q

Plus Code: 9F22WX7G+99

Entry Name: Dungeness Lighthouse

Listing Date: 26 March 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1390640

English Heritage Legacy ID: 490912

ID on this website: 101390640

Location: Dungeness, Folkestone and Hythe, Kent, TN29

County: Kent

District: Folkestone and Hythe

Civil Parish: Lydd

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Tagged with: Lighthouse

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TR 01 NE

Dungeness Lighthouse


Lighthouse. Designed 1957, built 1959-60. Architects: Ronald Ward and Partners in association with Trinity House. Builders: Taylor Woodrow Construction. The construction comprises 21 concrete drums, each 5ft high, surrounded by a white concrete spiral ramp enclosing the machine room and lifted into position by a specially designed crane. High tensile steel wires were then run through the walls from top to bottom and post-tensioned using the Freyssinet system to provide the strength required to resist 80 mph gales. There is extra strength towards the base of the tower by having extra prestressing cables rather than the traditional taper, giving it a more sophisticated and elegant form. The old lighthouse was originally banded black and white (now black to show that is no longer an active Aid to Navigation), and this design was repeated in the new one by making the drums in black and white coloured cement and special aggregates, although it is now also painted black and white. The tower is 130ft high and 12 feet in diameter, with walls only 6 inches thick. The six bands of perforations towards the top contain the loudspeaker units of the fog signal (no longer functioning since a new system was provided in 2000), and give a rich textural contrast. The interior contains an elegant cantilevered spiral staircase, slightly kinked on plan and with a steel handrail, which leads to the miniaturised 134,000 candlepower lantern (installed 2000, and with a range of 21 miles). There is no need at Dungeness for living accommodation, and all the machinery and electronics are housed within the spiral ramp at the base. The new equipment installed in 2000 has updated the building sympathetically, but is not itself of special interest.

`The first major new lighthouse to be built in Britain for fifty years' (Architects' Journal, 18 August 1960), it replaced the old Dungeness lighthouse, the light from which was to be obscured by the atomic power station built nearby. It cost c.£35,000. The lighthouse was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester on 29 June 1960, within a year of construction work beginning. `The new Dungeness lighthouse offers a high degree of sophistication with a degree of visual appropriateness comparable to the best work of the past' (Architectural Review, September 1960).

The Builder, 25 September 1959, pp.286-7
The Builder, 8 July 1960, pp.53-5
Architects' Journal, 18 August 1960, pp.267-8
Architectural Review, September 1960, p.225
Architect and Building News, 25 January 1961, p.107

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