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New Eddystone

The Eddystone Lighthouse

Smeaton's Design

Centuries of Civil Engineering

Smeaton, John (1724-1792)
A Narrative of the building and a description of the construction of the Edystone Lighthouse with stone.
London: Printed for the author by H. Hughs, 1791.
Water Supply
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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 Smeaton’s own account of the construction effort, published in 1791.


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