Photo with kind permission of Trinity House.
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POSITION 51° 11'.09 N 4° 12'.01 W
Location: Morthoe near Ilfracombe, North Devon
No. On Admiralty List of Lights: 5600
Present Tower Built: 1974-75
Tower Composition: Local composite masonry
Height of Tower: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Designer: Ian Clingan
Builder: Yeo & Son Ltd.
Focal Height of Light: 180 ft (55 m) above mean high water
First Lit: (officially) 25th July 1975
Light Characteristic: 3 white flashes every 4 seconds. Eclipsed 18 seconds every 30 seconds
Visible Range on clear night: nominal 25 nautical miles
Radar Beacon: Morse 'BP' on vessel's radar display
Automated: 25th July 1975
Bull Point Lighthouse gives a guide to vessels navigating off the North Devon Coast with a red sector light marking the Rockham Shoal and the Morte Stone off Morte Point.
The light was first established in 1879 on the headland near the village of Mortehoe, North Devon by Trinity House to the designs of James Nicholas Douglass. Its builder was Yeo & Sons of Bideford North Devon. This station operated without undue incident for 93 years until the 18th September 1972, when the the Principal Keeper reported ground movement in the area of the engine room and the passage leading to the lighthouse. Also that 2 in (50 mm) fissures were opening up on the headland.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, 24th September 1972, 49 ft (15 m) of the cliff face crashed into the sea and a further 49 ft (15 m) subsided steeply causing deep fissures to open up inside the boundary wall. Walls cracked and the engine/fog signal station partly collapsed, leaving it in a dangerous condition and putting the fog signal out of action.
By 1530 on 25th September 1972, a black conical buoy had been laid off shore while a light vessel was being prepared at the Trinity House Depot in Swansea, Wales. The following day the light vessel, named Bull Point, was laid on station to provide an adequate fog signal until the introduction of a temporary fog signal on the headland.
As a temporary arrangement, an old Trinity House light tower, which had been in use at Braunton Sands North Devon and had been given to the Nature Conservancy, was borrowed back and the optic installed on top of it. This tower was used at the Bull Point Lighthouse for nearly two years. A make-shift hut was constructed for the 3 diaphone fog signals. Construction work on the new lighthouse began in 1974 at a cost of £71,000.
The lighthouse was designed by Ian Clingan and built so that all the equipment from the old lighthouse was utilised and after some modification made. It is interesting to note that the builders were the same company that constructed the first station.
All the equipment dates from 1960, was reinstated in the new lighthouse. Also the original plant from the collapsed engine room/fog signal house was brought back into service. The optic is in its third site at Bull Point.
The station is now fully automatic and the equipment comes into operation at pre-set times. The fog signal was discontinued in 1988.