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Lynmouth Forelands Lighthouse

aka Contisbury Foreland Lighthouse

North of Lynmouth, Devon

Location Guide

Photo by Christopher Ware

Part of the South West Coastal Path is a cliff top walk around the cliffs, 2 miles north of Lynmouth on the North Devon coast. From this as you go around Lynmouth Foreland, 150 metres above sea you have good views, across to Lundy Island, and along the coast. On a ledge cut into the hillside below you is Lynmouth Forelands Lighthouse. Today the keepers cottage is available for holiday rentals and those staying in it don't have to make the journey along the hill tops, but can use a winding service road along the hillside.

It was in 1900 that Trinity House built Lynmouth Foreland Lighthouse, also known as the Contisbury Forelands Lighthouse, as a further aid to navigation in the Bristol Channel. It is cut into the mountain side, part way up to try to avoid the fog or low cloud that was experienced in both this area and led to the nearby  Lundy Island (Old Light) being replaced by the Lundy Island North Lighthouse and Lundy Island South Lighthouse

The round white tower is 15 metres in height, and is complete with s 1 storey keeper's house.

The optic is a 1st order dioptric apparatus, 8 panels in 2 groups of 4, revolving on a motor driven mercury float pedestal. This is 67 metres above sea level.

Photo Mike Edwards

From a ship on the way to Lundy

Lynmouth Foreland Lighthouse was electrified in 1975 and was automated in 1994. It is now monitored and controlled by Trinity House at Harwich in Essex.

Photo by Don Cload

Showing why they put this lighthouse where it is and not on the top.

Photo by Alan Cooper (edited a bit)

An early postcard from soon after it was built in 1900, showing a steam ship going past.

Notice that the postcard calls it the Contisbury Foreland Lighthouse.
Contisbury is a village about a mile away and the area the lighthouse is on, is called 'The
 Foreland' and this comes off a far larger area called 'Contisbury Common'.

Lighthouse information Grid


Lynmouth Forelands Lighthouse, Devon

Current status:

Currently in use

Geographic Position:

51 14'.7 N 03 47'.1 W

Grid Reference:


Ceremonial County:



Round brick tower with lantern and gallery attached to 1 storey keeper's house. All cut into the side of a steep mountain side.

Map Link:

Google Map 

Aerial photo:

Google satellite view.

Other photos:

Geograph     closeup

Originally built:


Current lighthouse built:


Height of Tower:

15m      50ft

Height of light above mean sea level:

67m      220ft

Character of light:

4 White Flashes Every 15 Seconds

Character of fog signal:


Range of light:

18 nautical miles

Owned / run by:

Trinity House

Operator: Trinity House Site manager: National Trust

Getting there:

Located part way up Foreland Point, a steep headland about 3km (2 miles) northeast of Lynmouth.

There is a winding service road to the lighthouse, used by cottage guests, but other visitors generally view the station from above on the South West Coastal Path 


Cottage available for holiday rental and site is therefore available to guests, but tower is closed.



Other Useful Websites:


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


The keeper's house is available for holiday rental.

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Grid 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 Section Key:
Page Ref: Lynmouth_Forlands_lighthouse Topic: Lighthouses Last Updated: 07/2015


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