The Chapel Lighthouse

Issued in February 2011

In 1360 Nicholas de la Mere landed on Pharos. The youngest son of a mainland aristocratic family he decided to become a hermit in the hope it would be good for his soul. He set up home in a cave below Barrie Head.

The tides threatened to drive him out of his cave so he used his savings to start work on a chapel-cum-hovel on the clifftop. He lacked the right (or any) skills so he hired a local man, Thomas Warren, to build it properly. Thomas’s sister, Patience, would bring lunch and they would all talk. One thing led to another and, when the house wsas ready Nicholas and Patience moved in together.

A ten-month trip to the mainland on family business kept Nicholas away and Patience kept a candle burning in the window to guide him home. A candle has burned in the window ever since although a lantern room was added some years later to make the light more effective, making it probably the oldest lighthouse in continuous use in the British Isles. Although it never functioned as a religeous building it is always known as the “Chapel” and is still a popular venue for civil marriages.

Feb1a 14 Feb1 14c

Feb2 14a

Feb4 14i

Light on the Cliff

SK NumberTypeDescription
14232p Crocus Purple
14aSheet of 36
14b"Heart" beamer
14cUsed alone on cover
14i24Botanical Society of Pharos insert

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