A diary with a difference…..

Up in the air!

        Here are some  photos from the balcony of the lighthouse and inside the lantern room. Like all lighthouses across England and Wales today, Flat Holm is fully automated and solar powered. The Corporation of Trinity House is the General Lighthouse Authority for England and Wales, but also The Channel Islands and Gibraltar! It was established in 1514, receiving its royal charter from Henry VIII and today it provides the key aids to navigation of lighthouses, lightships, buoys and radio navigation systems. Trinity House successfully operate 72 lighthouses and nearly 600 aids to navigation!


  •  The Flat Holm lighthouse flashes three times every 10 seconds and can be seen 21 miles away.
  • All commercial vessels calling at UK ports must pay ‘light dues’ relative to the weight of cargo carried, and is approximately 35p per ton!
  •  The last remaining lighthouse keeper in the UK left North Foreland lighthouse in 1998

Like all lighthouses across the UK, Flat Holm’s lighthouse has evolved over time; the first light was kindled in 1737, using a coal fired brazier, which greedily consumed a whopping 25 tons of coal each month! In 1819 after the tragic loss of 40 lives from the ‘William and Mary’ running aground (which was blamed on the inadequacy of the Flat Holm light), the massive circular stone tower was adapted to make a suitable base for a lantern enclosing an oil-based lamp. The light was only converted to electricity in 1969, and finally to solar in 1997, which it still runs on today.

Despite huge advances in modern technology and particularly satellite navigation systems (Differential Global Positioning System), it seems that traditional aids to navigation will continue to play a key role in the future of shipping safety. At least for the foreseeable future anyway! Thanks to Trinity House (Terry – technician) who showed us around the lighthouse and answered our long list of questions! Cheers…


LAMBOMETER: 51 lambs

7 responses

  1. Carole Sharp

    Happy Easter to you all. Hope you have lots of Easter Eggs (Chocolate and from the chooks) and even more baby lambs to look after!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:38 am

  2. So can visitors to the Island actually go up to the top now? Last time I was there, I don’t believe it was permitted.

    Glynn actually showed us some of the charcoal near the base of the lighthouse which presumably came from the coal fired days….

    We certainly enjoyed our day on Flat Holm.

    Happy Easter to you all 🙂

    April 23, 2011 at 7:52 am

  3. Hi Ruth,
    Unfortunately, visitors are still unable to go inside the lighthouse unless Trinity House staff are present. Only they have the key! We were treated to a tour because Trinity House were carrying out some routine checks. The coal you found would have definitely been leftovers from the ‘coal fired days’! Glad you had an enjoyable Flat Holm experience. Happy Easter!

    April 24, 2011 at 11:53 am

  4. Katrina Davies

    Hello Flat Holm natives! I don’t know if you remember me. My names Katrina and I did work experience on the island last summer. I had the most AMAZING time on the island, it’s so beautiful and I think of it often! I’m loving the blogs, just read through a few to have a break from not revising! I was wondering if this summer me and my friends Megan and Laura could do some volunteering on the island. We are all quite nice -honest! We finish school early because of those exam things and have a lot of time and I figured we should do something productive and I’m DYING to come back! (if you will have us) THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! YAYY to Flat Holm!!!

    Lots of smiley faces
    Katrina 🙂

    ps: How are you all and what happened to Joe, Anthony, Rhydian ETC

    I’m going to Cardiff Bay now, if you see a little person waving on the edge of the mainland… THATS ME!!!

    April 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    • Clare

      Katrina! I remember you! You came over to the island with Helen and Callum and I tried to teach you to knit.

      I hope you are well and that you can get back to Ynys Echni this summer with your friends 🙂

      April 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    • Hi Katrina, i remember you too! Hope all is well! What sort of stuff do you all want to do? I’ll mention it to Matt, though we do have 3 days off which is quite nice so it may take a while to respond! Sam.

      April 29, 2011 at 6:08 pm

  5. Katrina Davies

    YAYY! wow that’s so nice to be remembered.

    I love how you say ‘tried’ to teach me to knit Clare, I will admit I’m not the best student! I would say I can almost knit now and have almost knitted a scarf… just for a really small person with a round neck who doesn’t mind the occasional hole!!! Thank you so much for teaching me by the way and I hope all is well with you, are you still on the island? 🙂

    We will do anything that’s wanted of us!! Last time I came we helped with the tours and animals and the cottage. We could come early Julyish, I don’t mind!!

    Thank you very very very very much 🙂 Enjoy your 3 day break!! 😀 😀

    byeee 😀

    April 29, 2011 at 10:38 pm

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