Orfordness Lighthouse Trust
Orfordness Lighthouse Trust

Welcome to Orfordness Lighthouse

 Some may be visiting having read the BBC article "Erosion Hit Lighthouse to be Sacrified to the Sea" published 11/07/2019.


The BBC headline has rather sensationalised what is happening to our favourite lighthouse (the Look East version was better!) so please let us clarify.


It is true that the Lighthouse is in a precarious position but due to the defences we put down around the base we have been able to defend the position far longer than was deemed possible when we took over ownership in 2013.


However due to 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 her where she stands was only a short term aim.


We have no intention of letting her “fall into the sea” and never have. We intend to dismantle her brick by brick and rebuild a smaller replica elsewhere on Orford Ness and turn her in a museum. Trinity House have said they will return items such as the lantern to us in such a scenario.


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!


What has changed now is that there is now no longer any beach below the lighthouse to put down more defences and so our only option left to save her for the community is to dismantle her. We won’t commence that until at least this autumn and could well be later than that.


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. We also don’t recognise the “£190k” figure quoted in the article as whenever we have sought fundraising, our supporters have been there to help out!


All our visits for 2019 are 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

Welcome to Orfordness Lighthouse

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.


While possible, we offer guided tours of this amazing place- you can either visit on one of the Open Days (listed below) or arrange a private visit with us for a pre-agreed donation. Please note it is not possible to walk to the Lighthouse from the mainland. 

2019 Visit Dates

 To Book Your Place, Email Us at



All Visits are on Sundays when Orford Ness is closed to National Trust Visitors


21st July *FULLY BOOKED*
25th August *FULLY BOOKED*
22nd September *FULLY BOOKED*


*There may be a further visit in October, TBC subject to demand and volunteer availability*


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

How is the Lighthouse?


A question we Trustees of Orfordness Lighthouse are asked so frequently! The winter of 2018/2019 has thankfully not been quite as severe as last Winter, but it still had its moments.  The beach in front of the lighthouse has retreated so much over the year that every high tide is in contact with the defences, and so has an effect.  This effect is sometimes positive, bringing a bit more shingle up on the tide.  But more often it is negative, taking shingle away and further undermining the Victorian water tanks and the bungalow cottage.  The beach is now so narrow and steep in front of the lighthouse that we have not been able to add to the defences this year.  There simply is not enough shingle to fill the rubble sacks, and no stable platform on which to place the "sausage rolls". 


So it is the beginning of the end.  This year while having the lighthouse open to visitors we will be planning its the dismantlement and the saving of the artifcacts.  Sad yes, but through generous donations and hard work by volunteers we have kept her open to 100s of visitors when it was predicted it would be in a ruinous state by 2015/16 when decommissioned in 2013.   


Orfordness Lighthouse Trust remains committed to keeping the Lighthouse standing where it is for as long as possible, and remaining alive to the constant threat of the sea. It remains our intention to dismantle the Lighthouse and rebuild a replica elsewhere on the Ness. If you want to hear more about this plan, we'd recommend coming on one of our Open Days and we'll be glad to tell you more about it. 


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