Home Newsletter Locations Diary
Topic Alpha County Sections By

Travellers Resource
Lighthouse Section Lighthouse Index . England & Wales Scotland Ireland Isle of Man Channel Isles


England & Wales Scotland Ireland

Flamborough Head Lighthouse

Flambourough, Yorkshire

Featured Location Guide

2 Lighthouses
  • First from 1674

  • Second from 1806 and still in use

  • Extended in 1925

  • Bird reserve and observation nearby

Flamborough has two lighthouses, one very old and one not quite so old. They are about 300 metres apart. Charles II gave Sir John Clayton permission to build the first one and it was constructed in 1674, but he went bankrupt before it was lit.

The second lighthouse was built in 1806 and extended to make it taller in 1925.

The later tower is by the car park, and acts as a waypoint for deep sea vessels and coastal traffic, as well as marking the Flamborough Headland for vessels heading for the ports of Scarborough and Bridlington. A fog warning station is near the cliff top.

The current lighthouse, by architect Samuel Wyatt, was built by John Matson of Bridlington in 1806 at a cost of 8,000. It was first lit on 1st December 1806.

The original lighting equipment was designed by George Robinson and consisted of a rotating vertical shaft to which was fixed twenty one parabolic reflectors, seven on each of the three sides of the frame. Red glass covered reflectors on each side, giving for the first time in lighthouse characteristics, two white flashes followed by one red flash. This was an innovation quickly adopted elsewhere. The lighthouse was oil-burning, with an equivalent candle power of 13,860.

In 1925 it was extended making it taller, photos of it before the changes are shown in the old photos at the bottom of this page.

In 1940 the Flamborough Lighthouse was electrified and further modifications took place in 1974.

An electric fog signal was installed in 1975 replacing diaphone apparatus. In older times a rocket was discharged every 5 minutes in foggy weather reaching an altitude of about 600 feet.

Flamborough Lighthouse was automated in early 1996, the keepers leaving on 8th May.  The fog signal was refurbished and a standard fog detector fitted. The lighthouse is now controlled and monitored from the Trinity House Depot at Harwich in Essex.

Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs,  is a RSPB bird reserve and is on the north coast of Flamborough Head. There are Gannets, Kittiwakes and Guillemots by the thousand, and quite a few puffins. The smell is a bit strong for some. In past days the eggs were harvested off these cliffs. The visitors centre shows a film on this.
See our guide to Bempton Cliffs.

So where does the name come from

The name Flamborough was first thought to be derived from it being the place of the flame, but in the Domesday Book the word is spelt "Flaneberg", possibly from the Saxon "Flaen" meaning a dart, which the shape of the headland resembles.

See Larger Image

  Photo Malcolm Street

See Larger Image

  Photo Paul Glazzard

See Larger Image

  Photo by John Firth

Photo from Wikipedia

Photo by  Paul Allison 

The old lighthouse tower at TA250708 Flamborough Head ,the later lighthouse is 300m southeast of this tower.

It was restored in 1996 and is said to be the oldest surviving lighthouse, although its difficult to see how, when some Roman ones exist.

Photo by Scott Rimmer

See Larger Image = Click on smaller images (left) to see a larger version


See also the old Photochrome images at the  bottom of this page, above the grids, one taken around 1905, the other also earlier then 1925 when the lighthouse was made taller. These also show it initially had a single gallery.

Aerial photos above and below  Marinas.com  More are available

Images of the lighthouse before it was made taller in 1925

Photochromes from Camera Images GBPictures archive. Above Taken around 1905

Old Photochrome postcard - also possibly around 1905, probably a bit later, up to the early 1920's,
shows it as it was before 1925 when it was made taller.
It also has a single gallery at this point.

Lighthouse information Grid


Flamborough Head Lighthouse, Yorkshire

Current status:

Lighthouse is in use, Open to visitors - see below

Geographic Position:

54 06'.98N 00 04'.96W

Grid Reference:


Ceremonial County:



White Tower with double gallery, and  2 storey buildings next to car park, Fog warning station is nearer cliff top.

Map Link:

Multimap/OS   Streetmap  bing   More maps

Aerial photo:

Multimap (best)  Google    Marinas.com (best)

Google satellite view

Google satellite view (Claytons tower)

Other photos:

WiKiMedia   Geograph     photo    photo

Photo       photos      photo       Photo

Originally built:

1668/9  24m 79ft high

Current lighthouse built:


Height of Tower:

26.5m  89ft  (since 1925)

Height of light above mean sea level:

65m    213ft

Character of light:

4 White Flashes Every 15 Seconds

Character of fog signal:

2 Blasts Every 90 Seconds

Range of light:

24 nautical miles

Owned / run by:

Claytons Tower  East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Lighthouse -Trinity House


TH and TH Open

Other Useful Websites:


Bird Observatory at Flamborough Head

Visitor guide to Flamborough Head (tourism)






Lighthouse Visit Planning Grid

Name: Flamborough Head Lighthouse, Yorkshire
Grid Reference: TA252706


Flamborough Head Lighthouse is located 1.2 miles from the village of Flamborough on the B1259.

Getting there: Take B1259 east from Flamborough, its at the end of this road.
Access: Road to location


Next to the Lighthouse.




possibly YO15 1AR


01262 673769

Email: sewerby.hall@eastriding.gov.uk

Opening times:

See  Trinity House page   to see when this is open and
Trinity house Lighthouse closure page

A PDF can be downloaded relevant to the 2010 year 


See  Trinity House page

Best Times to Visit: Check opening, access and tide times.



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Lighthouse, coastal, wildlife, plants, possibly ships.

What to take:

Shoes suitable for climbing many steps, small bag with necessary items, Camera, selected lenses and filters.

Nature highlights:

Coastal birds

Photo Restrictions:

None Known

Other Restrictions: None Known
Nearby Locations: Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire
Other Relevant pages:

For more articles, lists and other information see the Lighthouses Section

Lighthouse Map of England and Wales

Featured List of Lighthouses - England and Wales  

List of Minor Lighthouses and Lights - England and Wales

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By:  Keith Park   Section: Lighthouses Key:
Page Ref: Flamborough_Head Topic: Lighthouses Last Updated: 06/2010


This page:

Link directly to this page, with text or the button on right.

Text linking: Flamborough Head Lighthouse on Photographers Resource

Linking Instructions                            http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/

Photographers Resource, all the information for the photographer