Usually one lighthouse is enough but at the northern most point of the Isle of Mann – a place known as the point of Ayre – There are two very close together. The main lighthouse is situated on the shore above the level of high tide while the more recent ‘Winkie Light’ is positioned 75 metres closer to the sea in the centre of the shingle beach. Of the two the eldest is the ‘Point of Ayre – High’ Lighthouse which was designed and constructed by Robert Stevenson, the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson the author of Treasure Island. It was completed in 1818.
As shingle continued to build up on the beach it became essential in 1890 to build a smaller lighthouse closer to the edge of the sea. This was designed and built by David Alan Stevenson – cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson. Over time this cast iron structure became known as The Winkie. As the stones of the beach shifted and accumulated over time it became necessary to reposition it in 1950, this time 76 metres to the northeast of the main tower. A new concrete base was constructed on Larsen steel piles and the original cast iron tower fixed to the top of the new base. The modified tower now measured 30ft in height. The lamp produced a white light that flashed every 3 seconds with a range of approximately 13 kilometres.
The building is an octagonal tower fixed in two stages with a lantern and double gallery. The upper half of the tower is made from cast iron and has a smaller cylinder than the lower half which is made from concrete. The podium base is wider than the tower and reinforced to protect it from the waves as there can be a significant difference between high and low tide at the Point of Ayre.
The Winkie Light was automated in 1993 and a Tideline ML300 Lantern running a 60 watt Bi-filament lamp was installed.
With the development of better navigation tools and GPS it was assessed as no longer required and was decommissioned in 2010. Both lighthouses are privately owned.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
A6 / Shap Road, Kendal
Cumbria, England, LA9 6NY
+44 (0)1539 741 363
- Address: Point of Ayre, Cranstal Road, Cranstal, Isle of Man, United Kingdom, IM7 4BQ
- GPS: 54.417153,-4.363819
- Part of UK: Isle of Man
- Sat Nav Postcode: IM7 4BQ
- Entrance Fees: Free access to exterior
- Disabled Access: Reasonable: Concreate path to lighthouse for wheelchair users
- Visibility from Road: Good
- Image Credits: Header Image: Shutterstock