She Oak Point Lighthouse and Middle Channel Lighthouse form 2 leading lights guiding ships into the mouth of the Tamar River
on route to Launceston.
Navigation beacons were laid in the entrance to the river in November 1804 when the area was first settled. In 1848, 2 stone towers were built, but were unlit and gave no assistance at night. The 2 new towers were built in 1882, and first lit on 2 December 1882. The lights are 1197 feet apart and elevated 55 and 38 feet respectively.
Designed by Mr H Conway and built by J & T Gunn they housed lens built by Chance Bros.
The original keepers cottages, with their distinctive 4 chimneys, can be seen close to each tower. The cottage next to the Middle Channel Light (Rear) can be rented.
The towers used sperm whale oil originally, but this was changed to carbide lamps. Solid carbide was placed into a tank and water dripped onto it. The keeper opened a valve and the resulting acetylene gas passed through a pipe to the mantle. The white carbide waste was used to paint the towers.
The last keeper was Mr Fred White who served for 27 years and delayed retirement until the lights were electrified and automated in 1955.
As of 2008, the Chance Bros lens are still in place at both towers, but are not lit. Instead led arrays have been installed.
|(Above) She Oak Point Lighthouse, the front leading light|
|(Above) Middle Channel Lighthouse, the rear leading light|
|(Above) Another small leading light (with Low Head being the rear) for ships heading to sea. It appears to be non-operational.|
|Technical / Historical Details|
|Nearest Town||Georgetown||Height - Elevation||7.0m (23ft) - 10.7m (35ft)|
|Construction||White round stone tower, redstripe||Lens||Chance Bros|
|First Lit||1881||Range NM||9W|
|Architect||Mr H Conway||Access||Road|
|Reference||7104 K 3570||Accommodation||No|
|See Also:||Middle Channel|