Photo with kind permission of Trinity House.
Please note that any items in RED means there is a fuller version relating to this particular name or subject, which can be found in the Main Search index.
POSITION 51 33'.99 N 03 58'.21 W
Location: North end of Swansea Bay, Gower Coast, West Glamorgan. Wales (Dyfed)
No. on Admiralty list of lights: 5358
Officially established: 4th October 1792
Designers/Builders: Molineux & Spencer (First structure which was pulled down)
First lighthouse established & designed by: William Jernegan
Original structure: Octagonal Stone
Height of structure: 50ft (15.24m)
Light first lit: 1st May 1794
The Mumbles 1794
For 200 years the Mumbles Lighthouse has guided vessels along the coast and into Swansea Bay, past the hazards of the Mixon Shoal ½ mile to the South. This unmanned lighthouse is built on the outer of two islands, known as Mumbles Head, lying about 500 yards to the E.S.E. of the mainland known as Mumbles, Swansea. The station is accessible by foot at certain states of the tide or by boat at high water.
The Swansea Harbour Trustees were given the power to provide a lighthouse at the outer Mumbles in the Harbour Act of 1791. In July 1792 the Trustees contracted for the erection of the lighthouse and work began; however in October 1792 the half finished structure collapsed. In 1793 the plans of the local architect William Jernegan were accepted and the lighthouse was finally completed and lit in 1794.
The Mumbles originally displayed two open coal fire lights one above the other to distinguish it from St Ann's Head Lighthouse which had two lights on separate towers and Flatholm Lighthouse with one light. The coal lights in braziers were expensive and difficult to maintain so were quickly replaced with a single oil powered light consisting of argand lamps with reflectors within a cast iron lantern. The original two lights are still reflected in the two tier structure of the tower.
The Mumbles Lighthouse in 1994
Among various changes to the equipment through its 200 year life are the fitting of a dioptric light in 1860, an occulting mechanism in 1905 and automation in 1934. The fort or battery which surrounds the southern side of the lighthouse was built in 1860 by the War Department. Until recent times Mumbles Lighthouse has been under the management of the British Transport Docks Board. On 1st November 1975 Trinity House assumed responsibility for the station, the property being transferred without any payment being made by either side.
In 1977 the lantern, which had deteriorated beyond economic repair, was removed, returning the station to its original appearance. However ten years later a lantern taken from Light Vessel number 25 (formerly the Abertay) was placed on the tower to improve servicing conditions. In 1995 the Mumbles Lighthouse was converted to solar powered operation, with solar module arrays being mounted in frames on the fort roof. A pair of biformed Tideland ML300 lanterns replaced the main light and a new emergency light, fog detector and control and monitoring equipment were installed. The latter is linked to the Trinity House Operations Control Centre at Harwich via a cellphone telemetry link.