Winstanley’s Eddystone

Issued in March 2011

This was the world’s first rock lighthouse.  Prior to this all lighthouses had been built on land or on rocks that could be reached from land. But the Eddystone reef lies 14 miles off Plymouth and claimed victims with great regularity.

In the autumn of 1693 Winstanley heard that another of his ships had floundered on the reef.  No architect would undertake the work of designing a lighthouse so Winstanley did it himself.  It took three summer seasons to get the lighthouse foundations constructed and the lighthouse built and the light was lit for the first time on 14 November 1698.

The lighthouse was enlarged the following summer and it sucessfully completed 5 more winters.  On 26 November 1703 Winstanley and his engineers set off to carry out repairs in preparation for winter.  That night the greatest storm recorded in Bristish history hit. By morning the tower and its occupants had been swept away – only a few twisted iron rods remained.

scan0067a 15 scan0067 15c

scan0068 15a

scan0070 15i

Henry Winstanley's Eddystone

SK NumberTypeDescription
15253p Cherry Red and Custard
15aSheet of 36
15bReversed weather vane
15cUsed alone on cover
15i26Chapman Sports insert

<<Last Page/Next Page>>

Comments are closed.