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Strumble Head Lighthouse with associated buildings and boundary wall

A Grade II Listed Building in Pencaer (Pen-caer), Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 52.0299 / 52°1'47"N

Longitude: -5.0738 / 5°4'25"W

OS Eastings: 189238

OS Northings: 241288

OS Grid: SM892412

Mapcode National: GBR CF.GB4V

Mapcode Global: VH1QD.07KR

Plus Code: 9C4P2WHG+WF

Entry Name: Strumble Head Lighthouse with associated buildings and boundary wall

Listing Date: 14 July 1993

Last Amended: 29 March 1996

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 12992

Building Class: Maritime

Location: Situated on Ynys Meicel, and reached via a bridge across the narrow tidal strait.

County: Pembrokeshire

Community: Pencaer (Pen-caer)

Community: Pencaer

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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The earliest application for a light on Strumble Head was made in 1825, but it was not until 1908-9 that a lighthouse was built here, in response to the increased traffic between Ireland and the new Fishguard Harbour. The lighthouse was designed by Thomas Mathews, Engineer-in-Chief to Trinity House. Originally oil-powered, it was electrified in 1965. An electronic fog signal was installed in 1969, replacing the earlier use of explosives, but this was itself discontinued in 1988. The station was manned until 1979.


The site comprises a linked group of buildings -keepers' accommodation, lighthouse and engine room - set in a small walled enclosure. Compound wall is roughly coursed rubble, white-washed to its external face, with ashlar gate piers with pyramidal copings to main entrance.

To the NW, the walls enclose a small circular area which formerly housed a flag-staff. Accommodation building is lined-out render with flat roof; single storeyed, symmetrically laid out with advanced outer bays and central projecting porch. Doorway in side of porch which is flanked by a single window to either side (each a wood mullioned and transomed window of 2-lights); similar windows in advance outer bays. Return elevation to left incorporates the separate entrance to the self-contained engineers' accommodation: central entrance flanked by 2-light windows. Stepped cornice and raised blocking course throughout; axial chimney set towards left-hand rear. To the rear, a short corridor with central doorway and flanking windows links the accommodation with the tower. Lighthouse is 16.8m in height, circular in plan, with a slight taper. 2-light recessed windows in upper stage (the service room), with stressed cills and lintels. Heavy moulded projecting cornice forms gallery with cast-iron railing with fluted finials to principle posts.

Lantern has lattice glazing and in surmounted by a cowl and an arrow wind vane. Engine house adjoins the tower to the rear: also single storeyed, with plain projecting eaves, and windows set high up. Fog-stack projects from the NW angle. Built into the boundary wall E of the lighthouse is the original explosives store for the fog signal: lined-out render. with steep segmentally arched roof; doorways in either end (one now blocked) and small shuttered openings in inner wall. Lined with tongue-and-grooved boarding inside, it was apparently divided into 2 spaces to house the explosives and detonators.


Central corridor with the 4 rooms of the keepers' accommodation (retaining some original fitted furniture) opening off it leads to the base of the tower. Cantilevered stone staircase against the wall, with enriched newels. Engraved tablet set in the tower wall
records: 'This lighthouse was erected by the Corporation of Trinity House in the year 1908. Admiral His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Master, Captain Sit George Rowlands-Vyvyan, KCMG, Deputy Master, T.Mathews, Engineer-in Chief'. Cast-iron type (formerly housing weights of clock-work rotative mechanism) the full-height of the tower. Cast-iron ladder stair leads from service room to lantern: slate plaque inscrived with a verse from Psalm 27 (Except the Lord...) fixed to the inner side of the glazing. The large Chance Lens revolves in a bath of mercury, supported on a cast-iron base with cylindrical columns and moulded braces.

Reasons for Listing

The lighthouse is one of the few early C20 lights in Wales; it is an excellent illustration of the traditions of construction and of efficient planning developed into the C20.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Former Lighthouse-Keepers Cottages
    Situated on Ynys Meicel, a small island joined to NW corner of headland by metal access bridge.
  • II Carreg Lwyd
    Situated on right side of road to Strumble Head, opposite drive to Llanwnwr.
  • II Caerlem
    Situated on E side of road running N from Harmony to Strumble Head, some 1.5ákm N of Harmony.

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