Royal Sovereign

50° 43'.454 N 000° 26'.086 E (not for navigation purposes)


Image of Royal Sovereign

Royal Sovereign Lighthouse

History

This lighthouse was completed in 1971 and replaced a light vessel which had marked the Royal Sovereign Shoal since 1875. It is of concrete construction and was built in two sections on the beach at Newhaven. The base and vertical pillar section were floated into position and sunk on to a levelled area of the sea bed and the upper cabin section and superstructure were then floated over the pillar section. The pillar had an inner telescopic section which, when attached to the cabin, was jacked up 13 metres and locked into position. The underside of the cabin is well above the maximum wave height and the navigation light is 28 metres above sea level.

The cabin section contained accommodation for the keepers who manned the lighthouse before its automation in 1994. The flat upper deck of the cabin section provides a helicopter landing platform. The lighthouse tower, with the control room, fog signal room and lantern is located at one corner of the main deck with direct access to the cabin section below.

Automation of the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse was completed in August 1994. The lighthouse was converted to solar power; banks of solar modules were mounted on a steel frame at an angle of 65° facing due south, placed adjacent to the lantern tower. The optic was replaced by a biform synchronised set of lanterns made by Tideland Signals Ltd each containing a lampchanger with 6 lamps. The main light was reduced in range from 28 nautical miles to 12 nautical miles and the former air horn fog signal was replaced by a SA850 electric fog signal with a fog detector. The Royal Sovereign is monitored from the Operations and Planning Centre at Trinity House in Harwich.

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