The "new" Flamborough lighthouse (actually built in 1806) stands guard as a silent sentinel, protecting shipping off
Flamborough Head. Less silently, the fog horn station, perched on the very cliff, sounds the arrival of fog and frets.
The lighthouse was built by John Matson of Bridlington without the use of scaffolding, is 85 feet tall and stands atop a
chalk cliff 170 feet high. The lamp mechanism rotates constantly on a bed of mercury.
Further back from the coast is the old Beacon light tower, dating from circa 1674, and the only known example in
England. Recent restoration work has cast doubt on whether a fire was ever actually lighted atop the structure. It now
stands, a gleaming monument to the rightful awe in which mariners beheld the jagged, dangerous coast.
As the range of our activities is so diverse, we have a number of different websites. The main Flamborough Manor
site, which is where you are now, focuses primarily on accommodation (bed & breakfast) but has brief details of all
our other activities. To allow for more information to be presented on these other activities, we have other self-
contained web-sites and some of the links you will encounter while browsing these pages will take you to these
separate sites. To return to this site, simply go to the LINKS page, which is common to all our sites.
Views of Flamborough Head
A lighthouse was first established at Flamborough by Sir John Clayton in
1669, but was never kindled. 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.
The present lighthouse, designed 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 of that year. The original lighting apparatus 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.
The following description of Flamborough Lighthouse is taken from
Joseph Cotton's "Memoir on the Origin and Incorporation of the Trinity
House of Deptford Strond" written in 1818.
The site of Flamborough Head was of all others the most calculated for a
lighthouse, either for coasters or for vessels from the Baltic and North
Sea, but it was not concurred in by the trade until lately, when its utility
having been admitted, the present lighthouse was erected, and the light
exhibited upon the principle of the Scilly light, but with coloured red
glass in front of the burners, by which it is distinguished from Cromer.
The lighthouse has continued its role as a waypoint for deep sea vessels
and coastal traffic as well as marking the headland for vessels heading
for the ports of Scarborough and Bridlington.
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 former times a rocket was
discharged every 5 minutes in foggy weather reaching an altitude of 600
Flamborough Lighthouse was automated in early 1996, the keepers
leaving on 8 May. The existing aids to navigation were retained with
standard Trinity House equipment replacing the lampchanger and optic
drive. The fog signal was refurbished and a standard fog detector fitted.
The lighthouse is now controlled and monitored from the Trinity House
Operations and Planning Centre at Harwich.
Established : 1669
Height of Tower : 87 Feet
Height of Light Above Mean High Water : 213 Feet
Automation : May 1996
Lamp : 1 KW MBI
Optic : 1st Order Catadioptric Rotating
Character : 4 White Flashes Every 15 Seconds
Intensity (Peak) : 650,000 Candela
Effective Intensity : 433,333 Candela
Range of Light : 24 nautical miles
Fog Signal Character : 2 Blasts Every 90 Seconds
The first lighthouse, was built by Sir John Clayton, in the area was
completed in 1674 and is the oldest surviving complete lighthouse
Flamborough Lighthouse, interior
showing the actual lamp
Flamborough Lighthouse, interior
Flamborough Lighthouse staircase
The Manor House, Flamborough, Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire. YO15 1PD
Telephone: 01262 850943 [International: +44 1262 850943]
Web-site design & content Copyright © 2023 Geoffrey Miller
The Manor House
Accommodation, Books, Traditional Knitwear & Hand-Knitted Ganseys, Breton shirts
Lesley Berry and Geoffrey Miller
The Manor House
East Riding of Yorkshire YO15 1PD
Telephone: 01262 850943 (Mobile 07718 415234)
International: +44 1262 850943
2023 Opening Times
The Lighthouse is usually open on weekends from Spring to
late Autumn (from noon till 4:00pm)
Please call 01262 673769
for further information