Mathew Flinders named Table Cape in 1798 when he and George Bass were exploring in the "Norfolk" to confirm that Tasmania was in fact an island.
The lighthouse was designed by Huckson and Hutchinson of Hobart and it was built from brick by local builder, Mr. John Luck. Three stone cottages were also built near the tower. The bricks for the tower were brought from Victoria as ship-ballast for vessels returning to Tasmania after unloading cargo.
The tower is set into the side of the cape, in front of a circular stone retaining wall. A steel gangway leads from the top of the retaining wall into the tower. Below is separate level accessed from the ground. Inside is a stell circular staircase.
The light was exhibited for the first time on the 1st August 1888. The tower had a 2nd order lantern housing a 700mm lens, both manufactured by Chance Bros. Originally powered by oil, the lighthouse was converted to automatic acetylene operation in 1920 and in 1923 the lightkeepers were withdrawn. The cottages deteriorated and by 1926 were demolished. In 1979 mains electricity was connected and an electric lamp with standby batteries were installed.
Table Cape's first Headkeeper, Robert Jackson had a tragic start to his time at Table Cape. On the 17th August 1888 just three weeks after the opening of the lighthouse his baby son died.
The cause of death is not recorded but this sad entry in the keepers log reads: "Wind south. A strong breeze and misty weather. Employed in the lighthouse and cleaning up about station. At 5.10 p.m. Bertie Jackson, son of the head lightkeeper, departed this life aged one year and two months.'
|Technical / Historical Details|
|Nearest Town||Wynyard||Height - Elevation||25.0m (82ft) - 179.9m (590ft)|
|Lat/Long:||40°56.9 145°43.7||Lantern||Chance Bros. 2nd Order|
|Construction||White round masonry tower||Lens||Chance Bros. 700mm focal radius Catadioptric drum with catadioptric ce|
|Built||1888||Character||Fl.(2)W.R. period 10s|
|First Lit||1888||Range NM||18W 14R|
|Architect||Access||Road - closed dusk to sunrise|
|Reference||6984 K 3532||Accommodation||No|