History in Structure

Former West Usk Lighthouse

A Grade II Listed Building in Wentlooge (Gwynllŵg), Newport

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Latitude: 51.5406 / 51°32'26"N

Longitude: -2.9946 / 2°59'40"W

OS Eastings: 331115

OS Northings: 182882

OS Grid: ST311828

Mapcode National: GBR J5.G5G2

Mapcode Global: VH7BL.1JQT

Plus Code: 9C3VG2R4+64

Entry Name: Former West Usk Lighthouse

Listing Date: 22 June 1990

Last Amended: 29 March 1996

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3081

Building Class: Maritime

ID on this website: 300003081

Location: Situated on the raised bank of the sea wall on the W foreshore of the Usk estuary, and approached via a track across marsh land from the coast road at New House.

County: Newport

Community: Wentlooge (Gwynllŵg)

Community: Wentlooge

Locality: St Brides

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

Tagged with: Lighthouse

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A light was first exhibited here in 1821, and the lightouse was designed by James Walker, the first he designed as consultant engineer to Trinity House. It was built by Ben Batchelor and John Williams of Newport. The present form of the building, in which accommodation is wrapped around the central tower, is probably the result of later modification: a publication of 1871 dates the lighthouse to 1867, and it seems likely that the central tower (the lighthouse proper) was all that was built in 1821, and that the dwellings surrounding it were added later (in 1867). The lighthouse had been taken out of use by 1922, and is now a private residence and guest house.


A tapering white painted rendered stone drum tower consisting of a 2 storeyed accommodation block enclosing a higher central tower which formerly carried the lantern. Entrance door on landward side, with flanking windows, and 7 further windows on each floor, all recessed in architraves with shallow triangular heads. Moulded cornice to parapet of flat roof. Projection of taller central tower above this roofline contains service room with mullioned and transomed windows with raked back upper lights, and was formerly surmounted by the lantern: remains of inner walkway and cast-iron railings mounted on a moulded cornice survive. Lantern had lattice glazing and a conical roof surmounted by ball finial and weather vane, but was removed in 1922.


Divided as a series of wedge shaped rooms around the central tower, which is occupied by a spiral stone staircase, the building is thought to have comprised two symmetrical dwellings originally, each accessed from a common entrance hall, and with their own private staircases at either side (the main staircase only providing access to the lantern), though these have not survived. The original layout of rooms has been largely retained, although access to and between them has been altered. Upper rooms have fire-proof ceilings, with brick arches sprung between cast-iron beams. Cistern at base of staircase was originally fed by water drained from the roof

Reasons for Listing

Although the lighthouse does not survive complete, it is of special interest for its highly unusual plan form.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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