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Folkestone, Kent is on the south east coast and was primarily a fishing harbour in the 1800s before becoming a major cross channel port in Victorian times. A harbour light to indicate tidal depth was established as early as 1810. With the arrival of the railway in the 1840s it developed as a seaside resort although there is little or no proper seafront.
The first lighthouse was a tall elegant white painted granite square tower structure with a square observation window light and was situated at the end of the pier in the old inner harbour. This pier has been known at times as West pier, South pier and Old pier.
Built in 1848 the tower was 31 feet high and the light at 41 feet above high water was visible for 6 miles and showed at times a fixed red light when 10 feet of water in the harbour to showing a group of 2 flashes every 10 seconds.
It continued to operate along side the current light for about 70 years until it was demolished in the 1930s.
With the building of a new breakwater to accommodate the new railway extension bringing passengers direct to the pier head to board the cross channel ferries to Ostend, Boulogne and Calais, a new tall stone circular tower lighthouse with a gallery and a traditional light was built in 1860. Currently operated by the local Port Authority and situated at the end on the new pier, the tower is 28 feet high and the light exhibited at 44 feet above high water is visible for 12 miles. A fog bell giving 12 strokes every minute is sounded during foggy weather.