Recognising that a light was required to keep vessels to the west of the Llŷn Peninsula, Barstram Shoal and Bardsey Island, Trinity House built the 30.2 m (99ft) high Bardsey Lighthouse in 1821 on the southern tip of Bardsey Island (Welsh: Ynys Enlli); the light was first exhibited on 24 December 1821.
Historically it would have been of use with St Tudwal’s Lighthouse for vessels going to and from the ports of Pwllheli, Porthmadog and Abermaw but now provides a significant aid to navigation for recreational users in the northern section of Cardigan Bay.
The island, some two miles long by half a mile wide, is surrounded by outcrops of sharp rocks.
The lighthouse is notable for being the tallest square tower lighthouse in the UK, and is made yet more distinctive by its red and white horizontal stripes.
The station was solarised in 2014 as part of the drive away from continuous running diesel stations. A red LED lantern replaced the existing rotating optic.
Bardsey Lighthouse was automated in 1987 and is now controlled from Trinity House’s Planning Centre in Harwich, Essex.