Casquets Lighthouse

Casquets Lighthouse was built in 1724 upon the dangerous "Rocks called the Casketts" off Alderney after shipowners petitioned the proprietor of the rocks

The concerned shipowners offered Thomas Le Cocq ½d. per ton when vessels passed the proposed lighthouse. Le Cocq approached Trinity House and a patent was obtained on 3 June 1723.

Trinity House decided that a light of particular character to distinguish it from those on the opposite shores of England and France was needed. Three separate lights in the form of a horizontal triangle were proposed, and three towers containing closed fires (coal fires burning in glazed lanterns) were erected. These three lights called, St. Peter, St. Thomas and Dungeon were first exhibited on 30 October 1724.

The lease granted to Le Cocq by Trinity House lasted for 61 years at a rent of £50 per annum. The three Casquets lights reverted to Trinity House in 1785 and were converted to metal reflectors and Argand lamps on 25 November, 1790; a revolving apparatus was fitted to each tower at the Casquets in 1818 and the three towers were raised by 30ft in 1854.

Casquets Lighthouse and rocks have been the scene of many shipping disasters, among them the SS Stella in 1899 with a loss of 112 lives.

The three original towers at the Casquets are still in use, although only the North West Tower still exhibits a light. A helideck is mounted on one tower.

This station is run solely from renewable energy, provided by the 6kw solar system, a 2.5kw wind turbine and a solar thermal heating system. Also installed on site is a rainwater catchment and treatment system to process and produce drinking water, removing the requirement to fly it to site by helicopter. Both the main and standby navigation lights are now LED, with the main light still using the revolving lens and the emergency lantern being a self-contained flashing unit mounted on the roof providing a 18 nautical mile range.

Casquets Lighthouse was converted to automatic operation in November 1990. The lighthouse is now monitored and controlled from Trinity House’s Planning Centre in Harwich, Essex.