Orfordness Lighthouse Trust
Orfordness Lighthouse Trust

Welcome to Orfordness Lighthouse

Update 30th September 2019


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 visiting engineers. 


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 feasible. 


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. 


What Next? 


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 orfordnesslighthouse@gmail.com and we can add you to our mailing list


The Aims of Orfordness Lighthouse Trust

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.


2019 / 2020 Visit Dates


With the final pubic visit to the Lighthouse of 2019 fully booked, we can confirm that no further visits will take place in 2019. 


The provision of 2020 visits will depend entirely on how well the Lighthouse fares during the Winter. While the structure of the building is sound, the undermining of the bungalow (left in this picture) in late September remind us that the sea can undermine our assumptions and expectations just as easily.


We will not announce 2020 (if they can go ahead) until at least the beginning of April once the strength of Winter storms have diminished. 


If you would like to join our mailing list so that we can update you on the Lighthouse and any future visits, please email us at orfordnesslighthouse@gmail.com


You can read more about how our Open Day Visits run on our Visits Page- 

Orfordness Lighthouse Trust

Since being decommissioned in 2013 Orfordness Lighthouse has been in the hands of the Orfordness Lighthouse Trust. Find out more about us and why we need your support.

History of the Lighthouse

Find out more about the history of the Lighthouse and its place on our coast, including a small insight into Life at the Lighthouse for keepers and their familes.



Art & The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse has inspired many an artist... Submit your art work for our gallery...

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Orfordness Lighthouse Trust Registered Charity: 1156 126