Monday, September 7, 2009

Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset

More light!

Here’s the Round Tower lighthouse at Burnham, or what’s left of it, for all that remains is the tower’s truncated stump, attached to the white building on the left, which faces on to the sea front.

Apparently the light had humble origins. A fisherman lived in a cottage somewhere near this spot in the mid-18th century, and his wife got into the habit of lighting a candle and leaving it at one of the windows to guide her husband home. Later the light was placed in the nearby church tower, so that it could be seen from further out at sea. Finally the curate of the church built the round tower – next to the churchyard, as can be seen in the photograph – so that the light was clearer still.

Even in its original tall form it wasn’t that high, and in 1832 it was replaced by the subsequent lights, so that shipping might be guided more reliably home, either to Burnham itself, or on up the River Parrett to the port of Bridgwater.


martin said...

As garden ornaments go-it'll do,I suppose.Could be a bit bigger..

Peter Ashley said...

The one I saw hiding in the gardens was very tall, and very much like a white candle. New book Wilko: Hidden Lighthouses of Burnham

Philip Wilkinson said...

Peter: That's the Pillar Lighthouse, the third one of the trio. I missed it, actually, while I was there. I'll have to go back, maybe when the weather's better and I can take a picture of the wooden lighthouse with the tide in, reflections in the water, and white, fluffy clouds behind...

Ron Combo said...

Wonky gravestones too. Lovely!

Bucks Retronaut said...

In a previous life as an estate agent,I once met a potential Vendor who was convinced that her house enjoyed views of Windsor Castle.
Hadn`t the heart to tell her it was Mursley Water Tower.
Both could appear fron a distance big, white, and circular.
Had to disabuse her to keep within Property Misdescription Legislation.
Didn`t get the instruction.
Pass the gin.