Climb Happisburgh Lighthouse’s 112 steps this Easter
PUBLISHED: 15:19 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:33 26 March 2018
Archant Norfolk 2016
One of the most iconic sites in Norfolk will be open to visitors for the first time this year over Easter.
People will be able to climb the 112 steps at Happisburgh Lighthouse and also celebrate the 150th anniversary of the optic which magnifies the light at the UK’s only independently run lighthouse.
Installed in 1868, the optic has enabled the light to be seen up to 18 miles away for the last 150 years, and still continues to provide a navigation light today, flashing out a warning three times every 30 seconds throughout the night.
Patrick Tubby, chairman of Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust, said: “Though the light sources themselves have evolved over the decades (oil, gas, paraffin, acetylene and electricity), it’s fantastic that Happisburgh Lighthouse continues to use a beautiful piece of Victorian engineering to project the light to seaward.
“Our optic celebrates its 150th anniversary this year – and we hope it will continue for many more.
“Happisburgh Lighthouse was threatened with closure 30 years ago, only to be saved by the determined efforts of the community. Over the years numerous volunteers have given up their time to share Happisburgh Lighthouse with the public.
“When visitors reach the top of the tower, it is always the optic that first captures their eye – it is very much the jewel in Happisburgh’s crown.”
When first established in 1791, both towers produced their navigation light from a series of oil lamps placed in front of parabolic reflectors.
In 1868, the reflectors in each lighthouse were replaced by a first-order prismatic optic, manufactured by Chance Brothers at Smethwick, near Birmingham.
The new system allowed just one lamp in each optic to provide a much better, more efficient light. By the use of prisms and lens panels the light was reflected and refracted to concentrate the light to seaward.
The openings are:·Easter Sunday, 10.30am-4pm, Easter Monday, 10.30am-4pm. Sunday, May 6, 10.30am-4pm, Bank Holiday Monday, May 7, 10.30am-4pm, Sunday, May 27, 10.30am-4pm, and Bank Holiday Monday, May 28, 10.30am-4pm. There will be a further nine open days from July 21 to September 2.
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