Update 30th September
Following an extremely High Tides and strong winds over
the weekend of the 28th/29th September, the Bunglaow just below the Lighthouse has been seriously undermined and much of it has collapsed.
It is the current intention of Orfordness Lighthouse
Trust to fence off the collapsed building and to demolish it as soon as can be arranged. This is to prevent the building being a danger to curious visitors and can also serve as an extra defence to
the Lighthouse structure and the Oil Store.
The bungalow was built in the late 19th Century as
outhouses to the cottages that stood either side of the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse was automated and the cottages were demolished in the 1960s and thereafter the Bungalow served as a bunk house for
The Bungalow has been undermined in the past and the
Orfordness Lighthouse Trust has carried out remedial work to shore up the shingle underneath it. Now with almost no beach in front of the Lighthouse this was no longer
The structure of the Lighthouse itself is still sturdy.
Internal examinations of brickwork in the cellar (including a diamond drill through the 2m thick foundations) have proved that the bricks that make up its strcuture have not been infiltrated by damp
and nor does the building show any cracks that would suggest the Lighthouse has been undermined. The temporary defences (The Geo-Textile "sausages") put down year after year by Orfordness Lighthouse
Trust have worked well. The overall level of the beach is far lower and high-water mark far beyond the promontory the Lighthouse sits on.
For several reasons, including the nature of the fabric of the Lighthouse itself and the
protected land it stands on and the nature of the erosion, we have long known that preserving Orfordness Lighthouse where she stands was only a short term aim.
Because of the very mobile nature of the shingle we have
always caveated that a bad storm with winds in a certain direction could threaten the structure. Every winter since 2013 this has been possible. We have in fact been quite lucky that big storms, like
the Beast from the East, have actually deposited shingle on the beach. We don't know how long we'll continue to be so lucky! The collapse of the Bungalow is a timely reminder that the sea and weather
can undermine our assumptions and expectations just as quickly as they have the Bungalow.
We have no intention of letting her “fall into the sea”
and never have. It has always been the stated aim of Orfordness Lighthouse Trust to keep the buiding standing and open to visitors for as long as possible, then to preserve the artefacts after that.
We communicated recently that the lack of beach in front of the Lighthouse means that we can add no more temporary defences and therefore that dismantling the Lighthouse would have to happen sooner
rather than later.
We are very proud to have taken hundreds (if not
thousands!) of visitors to Orfordness Lighthouse over the past 6 years and have been supported by kind donations by our visitors and supporters near and far.
We shall keep you up to date with our progress and plans
over the coming months, as well as how the Lighthouse is doing over the winter.
Our last visit of 2019 is already fully booked but if
you’d like to stay in touch with us please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add you to our mailing list
Threatened by coastal erosion, this iconic building is at imminent risk of falling into the sea. Now in the hands of the Orfordness Lighthouse Trust, we are committed to keeping this much loved
monument standing for as long as possible and to preserve its legacy after that.