The Eddystone rocks, in the English Channel off Plymouth,
were a considerable danger to shipping in the seventeenth century. In 1698
Henry Winstanley succeeded in building a lighthouse on one of the rocks,
and although secured to the rock by iron anchorage bars, the Winstanley
structure was washed away in the hurricane of 1703. A second structure was
put in place by John Rudyerd in 1708. The Rudyerd lighthouse was more
securely attached, but it was built of timber, and it was destroyed by
fire in 1755.
The third, and the most famous, Eddystone Lighthouse was
completed by John Smeaton in 1759. It was made entirely of interlocked
Portland stone, and took two years of work under the most difficult of
conditions in the stormy channel.
The illustrations of the completed lighthouse are from
Smeatons own account of the construction effort, published in 1791.