Calshot Spit Lightship - Southampton Docks, Hampshire


Lighthouse category:  lightship

Position:  Southampton Docks, close to Ocean Terminal

Status: inactive

Date:  1914

Designer:  not known

Tower height:  78 feet

Construction: steel hulled lightship with single mast and lantern

Colour scheme: red with name in white lettering on sides of hull

Focal plane height:  78 feet

Characteristics: not applicable

Foghorn:  not applicable

Google map view:  none available

Constructed in 1914 by J I Thorneycroft Ltd of Woolston near Southampton, the vessel, whose official name is "Trinity House Lightship 78 Calshot Spit" was stationed off its eponymous spit until 1978 when it was officially decommissioned and replaced by a lightfloat.  The Lighthouse Directory states that the lightfloat was removed in 2010, however, the photograph below which shows the lighthfloat clearly named "Calshot Spit" was taken on 19 April 2011 as Queen Elizabetth left Southampton water on a cruise to the Canary Islands so this information may be inaccurate.  After decommissioning, the lightship was, for many years, displayed as an attraction at the entrance to the Ocean Village Marina on the River Itchen.  However, the photo above shows the vessel on the quayside close to the new Ocean Terminal.  I am not sure whether this is intended to be a new permanent location as there is clearly some scaffolding in place and some maintenance appears to be in progress.  However, as supporting evidence for a possible reclocation, the former tug tender Calshot has also been berthed permanently very close by and it seems that a new heritage attraction is in the process of being established.

The photograph below shows the present Calshot Spit lightfloat.

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