Skerries Lighthouse, North West Anglesey
The Skerries Lighthouse is a very important navigation beacon for the heavy shipping traffic that skirts Anglesey.
Yachtsmen and fishermen also rely on the security of seeing the light beam from this lighthouse as they approach from the Irish Sea.
But we have to go back almost three hundred years to trace the beginnings of this notable landmark.
Video provided by Paul Mattock.
As this video shows, it is possible to reach the Skerries from the Anglesey coast by kayak, if the right tidal and wind conditions are chosen.
In the above example a group of kayak enthusiasts from a local club left Church Bay and reached the lighthouse via the Langdon navigational mark which is positioned to the west of the Skerries rock.
Timing is key given the strength of the tidal currents in this area, perhaps one of the reasons why local tidal energy projects in the Langdon ridge are being considered as a source of green electricity.
History of Skerries Lighthouse
The founder of the private Skerries lighthouse on this rock was William Trench, an Irishman born in 1642.
1713:Trench obtained a 99 year lease of the Skerries from William Robinson of Mynachdy (Monk's House). He paid £10 per annum until the light was built, after which the rent was £20 per annum.
1714:Trench was granted a patent by Queen Anne. This gave him authority to build a beacon on the rock and charge a levy of one penny per ton on all ships except those of the British Navy.
1716: The first working beacon operates on Skerries. This was a simple round tower, 35 feet (10.7 m) high with an open grate on top in which coal was burnt. Over the following years Trench found that the light levies he collected from shipping didn't cover maintenance costs.
1730:The light dues had increased to about £1,100 per annum, a substantial sum in those days.
1739: William Robinson, grandson of the former owner of Skerries, was drowned along with twelve friends when they tried to return to the mainland from the rock.
1778: Death of Rebecca Morgan who was the owner of the light on Skerries. Ownership was taken up by her nephew, Morgan Jones.
1804: Jones built a new lighthouse. This time the light was powered by an oil lamp and reflectors.
1810: With the original 99 year lease coming to an end, Morgan Jones negotiated with the heirs of the Robinson family. As a result Jones became the new owner of the Skerries.
1828: Light dues had risen to £11,800 per annum.
1835-40: Trinity House approaches Morgan Jones on at least three occassions to purchase Skerries. Each time, Jones declined the offer.
1841: Eventually after Jones's death, the Sheriff's Court at Beaumaris decided the fate of the rock's ownership. Trinty House purchased the freehold of Skerries for about £445,000 ($990,000) (£1=$2), a massive sum especially in the mid-19th century.
1987: The light is finally automated.
Other information about Skerries Lighthouse
- Height of tower: 23 m
- Character:2 white flashes every 10 seconds
- Intensity: 115,000,000 Candela
- Range of Light: 22 miles (35 kilometres)
- Fog Signal: 2 second blast every 20 seconds.
South Stack Lighthouse
Penmon Point Lighthouse
Point Lynas Lighthouse
Return to Historic Coast
Return to Trinity House
Return to Anglesey Today from Skerries Lighthouse