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Mucking Lighthouse.


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1861 "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens

"For, now, the last of the fleet of ships was round the last low point we had headed and a little squat shoal lighthouse on open piles, stood crippled in the mud on stilts and crutches."

1893 "Dickens Dictionary of the Thames, from its source to the Nore"
"Mucking Flat lighthouse, Sea Reach - Built of iron on hollow pile foundation. A temporary light was first exhibited from this position in October 1849 and the present structure was built in 1851. It is painted black and white in alternate horizontal bands and connected with the shore by a long footbridge, also built on piles and coloured white. The height of the tower from base to vane is 66 feet and its central lamp burns at 40 feet above high water. The light is under occultation once every half minute, and the apparatus is lenticular, giving forth a white beam with red sectors. A fog bell is sounded during foggy weather.

There are two keepers employed in tending the station, who, having their dwellings at hand, with coals, light, and furniture provided for them, and living with their families, have a much more comfortable billet than their neighbours at the Chapman lower down."

Mucking Flat lighthouse was on the eastern part of Mucking Flats at Sea Reach on the Banks of the River Thames estuary.

A temporary light was first exhibited from this position in October 1849 with the last structure built in 1851 on piles. It was painted black and white in alternate horizontal bands and connected with the shore by a long footbridge, also built on piles and coloured white. The height of the tower from base to vane was 66 feet and its central lamp burnt at 40 feet above high water and was visible for 11 miles. A fog bell was sounded during foggy weather. In 1881 it was raised to 70 feet and painted red. Between the Wars it was replaced with No.1 Mucking Buoy, and due to the effects of the 1953 floods on the river bed and the result of a collision by the barge 'Anglia', the lighthouse was removed in December 1954.

It is now replaced with a marker buoy.

Additional thanks for the archive pictures which are by permission of Mr.J.Swinn and are taken from a collection of postcards maintained by the late G.E.Danes,a Trinity House Lighthouse keeper.


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