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Scarborough Vincent Pier - Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Lighthouse category:  harbour

Position:   54° 16' 54.72"N : 0° 23' 23.74"W

Status: active

Date:  1931

Designer:  not known

Tower height:  49 feet

Construction: circular brick tower with lantern and gallery

Colour scheme: white

Focal plane height:  56 feet

Characteristics: isophase white light; 2.5 seconds on 2.5 seconds off

Foghorn:  blast every 60 seconds

Google map view:  google map link

As harbour lights go, that on the Vincent Pier at Scarborough is a particularly impressive one.  In scale and layout it appears that it would serve perfectly well as a primary coastal light.  The station has also had a particularly exciting, not to say violent, history.  In the 18th century, the harbour at Scarborough, which had existed since the 11th century, was extended by the building of two new outer piers.  The Vincent pier is named for its designer William Vincent  and dates from 1752, while the East Pier was built a few years later.  The original lighthouse on the site, a circular brick tower, was built in 1806 and, in 1843, it was increased in height by 17 feet and, at the same time, an attached keepers' house was built. On 16 December 1914 the German navy carried out a raid on Scarborough that was timed to coincide with that on Hartlepool that was mentioned earlier.  The battlecruisers Derfflinger and Von der Tann shelled the town doing serious damage and killing 18 civilians.  The last shot fired scored a direct hit on the lighthouse, the shell passing clean through the tower.  Fortunately, because the shelling was being conducted at very short range, many of the shells failed to explode because their contact fuses had insufficient time to set.  Nevertheless, the structural damage to the tower rendered it unsafe and it was demolished three days after the raid.  It was not until 1931 that the tower was rebuilt, at which time a foghorn was also added.  The current tower is the 1931 version, but the lantern was replaced in the 1980s.  The keepers' house now serves as the office and clubhouse of the Scarborough Yacht Club.  The pier and the area around the lighthouse are open to the public but the area of harbour beside the lighthouse is used as a marina and photography can be seriously hindered by a clutter of masts and yards.  Also, in the summer months, parking in Scarborough can be extremely problematic so, if you are heading for the lighthouse, be prepared for a lengthy walk.

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