On the Gower peninsula in south Wales, Whiteford Lighthouse and Cwm Ivy Tor are located on the shore at Whiteford Point near Whiteford Sands. The lighthouse is the only cast-iron lighthouse in the United Kingdom that is surrounded by water. It was constructed in 1865. The 61-foot-tall tower is made up of eight cast iron plate courses. In 1921, the light was turned out. You may stroll up to and around the lighthouse when the tide is out. It has an oddly gorgeous quality.

It is an unusual cast-iron lighthouse designed by John Bowen (1825-1873) of Llanelli to mark the shoals at Whiteford Point in 1865. Nothing is left. It is the only cast-iron tower in Britain to be swept away by waves of this magnitude. The tower is 44 feet (13 m) high and slightly above the low water level. The diameter of the base is approximately 24 feet (7.3 meters) and rises to 11 feet 6 inches (3.51 meters) at lantern level. There is an asphalt apron around the base of the lighthouse.

Vertical fissures appeared in the plates of the lowest three rings during the 1870s. Wrought-iron straps were fastened to the flanges on either side of the broken plates by a local blacksmith named Powell. The fissures were attributed at the time to lateral forces caused by the settling of the inner masonry, which was made out of rough beach stones and ‘poor’ mortar. 150 straps had been installed by 1884. The movement (swaying) of the tower, which was stated to be several inches in 1884 by the lighthouse keeper, may have exacerbated the compaction of the material. In 1885, a concrete skirt 18 inches (46 cm) deep was added to the ground surrounding the tower, connected by a 2-inch (5.1 cm) broad iron band, essentially attaching the skirt that runs all the way down to the base of the skyscraper

When Trinity House took over responsibility for illumination in 1920, the lighthouse was decommissioned and a new light was installed at Bury Homes. However, after the appeal of local sailors, the light of the 1980s was rekindled. This provided an additional reference when navigating the waters between the Gower Peninsula and the port of Bury: on dark nights, the boat crew often discovered that they were Before comprehending the reality, I was at the top of Whiteford Point. The cost was £1,300, with £1,000 funded by the Port Commissioners and the rest by the Burry Port Yacht Club. The new light was fully automatic and was activated when the daylight dimmed to a predetermined level. The Reeds and the Macmillan & Silkcut, both launched in 1987, list the Whiteford Lighthouse as being lighted every five seconds. The light was removed and not replaced after the solar unit failed. In the daytime, though, the lighthouse is still useful for navigation.


Built in 1803 at Swansea Harbor, the earliest recorded cast-iron British lighthouse. The architect was William Gernegan and the plates were cast at Neith Abbey Ironworks.

Cast iron was also used in 1834 for the Maryport Lighthouse in Cumberland. The Town Pier lighthouse in Gravesend, Kent, was made of cast iron in 1836. In 1842, two cast-iron headlights were erected in Aberdeen, with ornate octagonal towers and a sleek exterior. Another well-known example in Sunderland was built in 1856 on Pierre’s head.

On the exposed Fastnet Rock in 1854, the first solid rock or wave-washed cast-iron tower was erected, but it was replaced in 1904 by a broken masonry tower. Created in the mid-nineteenth century by the engineer Alexander Gordon. Numerous fine cast-iron towers for colonial water. These were molded at Pimlico and shipped for construction by comparatively unskilled labor. Some still live in Jamaica and Bermuda.

Whiteford Lighthouse is the only cast-iron lighthouse in Britain to be washed away by the waves, but it can be reached by foot at low tides. A handful of other lighthouses of this type are clearly visible from the water on the port towers or reefs. The Whitford Lighthouse is listed by Cadw as Grade II as a rare surviving cast-iron lighthouse off the coast of Britain and an important function of cast-iron architecture and nineteenth-century lighthouse design and construction. It’s also a protected ancient site.


Get there by car: From B4295 to Llanrhidian, then take the C to Llanmadoc. Go through the village until you get to Cwm Ivy. There is a private car park on the right side of the road with a box for honesty, once down the hill and parked across the National Trust Gate towards the Cwm Ivy Tor. You will come to the Burrows hut to your right, located in a forest of tall trees, and on the way from here, you will see a lighthouse in the far distance to the sandy beach.

More Abandoned Lighthouse




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here