Sunday, January 08, 2012

0108. Guernsey - Les Casquets Lighthouse (Maxi Card)

Alderney is surrounded by sea and the Lighthouses provide the light for ships to pass safely through a group of rocks known as Les Casquets.  There are a group of rocks about 13 kms West of Alderney.

The active tower is the North-Westernmost of three towers built in 1723-24.  The remaining two towers have been inactive since 1877.  During World War II, the Germans used the light station as an observation post and transmitter site, which attracted commando raids by British forces in 1942-43.  The Lighthouse is accessible only by helicopter.

The Lighthouse started operation on 30-Oct-1724, and there were three towers each lit by Coal Fires called St Peter, St Thomas and the Dungeon.  Three stone towers were built to give the lights a distinctive appearance which would not be confused with Lighthouses in nearby France.

The towers were built by Thomas Le Cocq, owner of the rocks, under the licence from Trinity House and who was paid a Half penny per ton of ship when vessels passed the rocks and in turn he paid Trinity House 50 pounds per year for the right to run the lighthouses.  The Lighthouses were reverted back to Trinity House in 1785.

Guernsey Post commemorated the Les Casquets Lighthouse by the release of 6p (penny) postage stamp on 10-Feb-1976.

Built in 1723, the Les Casquets Lighthouse:
  • Tower is CYLINDRICAL stone
  • Tower is painted WHITE and RED HORIZONTAL bands
  • Lantern painted RED
  • Height is 23 meters
  • Colour scheme of LIGHT is WHITE
  • Light character is 5 (five) FLASHES separated by 3.7 seconds every 30 seconds

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