Top Days Out in North Wales – Pen Môn Lighthouse, Anglesey.
2020 has not been the year that we had planned, but its certainly time to "lockdown" your wish list of places to visit once all the travel restrictions are lifted! A good place to start would be a trip to Anglesey, an island rich in history and beauty. Its coastline is simply stunning and perfect for some well-earned Vitamin Sea for you and your family.
Discover beaches and cliffs, tiny fishing coves and busy ports before arriving at Penmon Point, also known as Black Point, or Trwyn-du in Welsh, situated on the south-east corner of Anglesey and overlooking the Menai Straits, the Irish Sea and Puffin Island. The name derives from Welsh: pen (which can mean “head”, “end” or “promontory”) and Môn, which is the Welsh name for Anglesey.
According to Wikipedia, the first lighthouse was erected in 1838, at a price of £11,589. There had been a call for a light at this location for some years by master shipmen in the nearby city of Liverpool, especially after the steamer the Rothsay Castle ran aground and broke up on nearby Lavan Sands in 1831 with 130 people losing their lives.
The present Lighthouse, built 1835-1838, is 29m tall and was designed by James Walker. It was his first sea-washed tower and a prototype for his more ambitious tower on the Smalls.
The Lighthouse has a stepped-base designed to discourage the huge upsurge of waves that had afflicted earlier lighthouses on the site and reduce the force of the water at the bottom of the tower.
Austere vertical walls, instead of the usual graceful lines of other rock towers, are probably an economy measure. The tower has a crenellated stone parapet, in preference to iron railings on the gallery, and narrows in diameter above the half-way point. These are features used by Walker in his other lighthouse designs. The tower is distinguished by its original three black bands painted on a white background. Its also bears the words "NO PASSAGE LANDWARD" on its north and south sides.
Walker also pioneered, unsuccessfully, the use of a primitive water closet, comprising a specially designed drain exiting at the base of the tower. The stepped design of the lighthouse may have helped water exit the closet, but surges of seawater made its use difficult during heavy weather.
The light-source initially was a 4-wick Argand lamp, set within a first-order fixed catadioptric optic manufactured by Isaac Cookson & co. It displayed a fixed red light.
The best way to experience Anglesey and visit Pen Môn Lighthouse is to come and stay. Spend a few nights at Ogwen Bank Holiday Park or even a week! Take time to relax in a luxury lodge with a hot tub by night and explore the wonders of North Wales by day.
Note: Getting close to the lighthouse is via a private toll road costing £3.50. The closest postcode for the site for sat nav purposes is LL58 8RR.
For more information on the lighthouse please
Photograph: Visit Wales