Aerial photo by Marinas.com more images are available
Photo by Peter Wasp
When built this lighthouse like
many, had a pair of lights, the low light is seen in the foreground
The tall light originally had black bands around it
These two old photographs were taken probably in the very late 1800's
These images are a part of the Camera Images GBPictures archive
Two drawings of the lighthouses and fog station
drawn in 1953 by Brian Mills.
In December 1830, the passenger paddlewheel steamer FROLIC was wrecked with heavy loss of life, near to the location of the Nash point lighthouse. It was because of the outcry about this that Trinity House decided to develop this lighthouse.
The lighthouse was built in 1832. The designer was James Walker, the Engineer-in-Chief to Trinity House. It was Located about 5km (3 mi) west of Llanwit Major.
There were two towers and they served to mark the sandbanks off the point at the entrance to the Bristol Channel and as the high light and the low light formed a range for ships entering the Bristol Channel. Nash Point marks the entrance to the narrower part of the Bristol Channel, leading to the major ports of Cardiff and Bristol.
Two circular towers were built, each with massive walls and a stone gallery. The eastern, or high lighthouse, 37 metres high and the western or low lighthouse 25 metres high. Placed 302 metres apart they provided leading lights to indicate safe passage past the sandbanks.
The high light was painted with black and white stripes and the low light was white. In those days both towers showed a fixed light which was either red or white depending on the direction from which a ship approached. The red sector marked the danger area of the Nash Sands.
The low light was abandoned early last century and the high light was modernised and painted white. In place of the fixed light a new first order catadioptric lens was installed which gives a white and red group flashing.
The low light had its light removed and has been converted to a house, but can still be seen in the form of a white tower, a photograph of this is shown below.
Remains of the Low lighthouse Photo by Peter Wasp
There was also a fog horn, a siren horn on a building between the two lighthouses, this is no longer in regular use but the fog signal is sounded at 2pm on the first Saturday and third Sunday of each month, weather conditions permitting.
The Nash Siren has sound distributed via two conical elliptical horns arranged horizontally with a separation of 120 degrees. It generates a winding up, that is ascending, continuous changing pitch from A below middle C to A above middle C, the higher note lasting for about 2.5 seconds. An elderly resident who lived at Rhoose village, between Nash and Barry a considerable way away, could regularly hear this foghorn and new it as the Marcross Bull.
Photo by Martin Edwards
For over 160 years its light has done the intended job, and like many others the success is measured by there being no bad news to report in the area.
Nash Point was the last manned lighthouse in Wales. The lighthouse keepers left on 5 August 1998.
In 1977 the tuberous thistle (Cirsium Tuberosum), a rare plant, was found growing around the lighthouse. Noticeably this was before it was opened to the public, so its unlikely that this was just the result of someone sitting on one.
Nash Point formally opened its doors to the public in 2007. It is accessible by road or by walking the coastal path from St. Donats.
Showing the red Perspex panel that is fitted to the light, showing danger areas. There are two of these. Photo provided by Brian Mills.
A view from the top of the
lighthouse over the foghorn to the remains of the lower lighthouse,
Photo by Peter Wasp
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