Detail of the arches and roadway. Image source: Woodward, Calvin Milton. A History of the St. Louis Bridge. St. Louis, G. I. Jones and Company, 1881, pl. 19.

Centuries of Civil Engineering

A Rare Book Exhibition Celebrating the Heritage of Civil Engineering

The New Eddystone Lighthouse

In 1882 John Smeaton’s lighthouse of 1759 was replaced by a new tower, constructed on a nearby rock. There was nothing wrong with Smeaton’s structure – it had withstood well the batterings of the sea for 120 years – but the rock on which it had been built was beginning to erode away beneath it. The new structure, designed and erected by James Douglass, was twice as tall as the original, and four times as massive.

Smeaton’s lighthouse would shortly be partially dismantled, with the lower half left in place and the upper half re-erected at Plymouth as a monument. This view shows the two still together, with the Douglass lighthouse in the foreground, and Smeaton’s structure behind it.

New Eddystone Lighthouse (left) and Smeaton's original lighthouse (right). Image source: Edwards, E. Price, et al. The Eddystone Lighthouses (New and Old): An Account of the Building, and General Arrangements, of the New Tower. London: Simpkin, Marshall, 1882, frontispiece.

View Source »