50° 14.559' N 005° 24'.011' W (not for navigation purposes)

Image of Godrevy

Photo by Tim Parsons


Godrevy Island is situated 3½ miles across St.Ives Bay, where rugged cliffs rise from the sea. Gulls, oyster-catchers and pipits make their homes on the island, which is partly covered with grass, as it slopes down to the sea. In springtime, carpets of brightly coloured primroses, sea thrift and heather bring beauty to the scene, for although the island is close to the mainland, it is open to the full force of Atlantic gales. A dangerous reef extends outwards towards St.Ives, called the Stones and on this many vessels have come to grief. On 30th November 1854, the iron screw steamer NILE was totally wrecked with the loss of all passengers and crew, and under public and mercantile pressure, Trinity House finally decided to erect a lighthouse in 1859. James Walker designed the station, and its welcome light shone out on 1st March of that same year. Two keepers were originally appointed to the lighthouse and they maintain the two lights, one a bright flashing white every 10 seconds, and the other fixed red, which marked the Stones Rocks. Their range was 17 and 15 miles respectively.

The white octagonal tower, 26 metres high, is made from rubble stone bedded in mortar, and is sited together with its adjoining keepers' cottages almost in the centre of the largest of the rocks. The cost of the station was £7,082 15s 7d. The original optic revolved on rollers on a circular race and was driven by a clockwork motor. This motor was in turn driven by a large weight running down a cavity in the wall of the tower. The station was also equipped with a 3cwt bell as a Fog signal, and this was struck once every 5 seconds.

The lighthouse was altered in 1939, when a new 2nd order fixed catadioptric lens was installed, together with an acetylene burner. The fog bell was also removed, the keepers withdrawn and the lighthouse made automatic. Godrevy Lighthouse was modernised in 1995 when it was converted to solar powered operation. The light was moved from the lighthouse tower to a new steel strucuture on the adjacent rock in 2012. The light is monitored and controlled from the Trinity House Operations and Planning Centre at Harwich in Essex.

Send us a photograph of Godrevy Lighthouse.