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Built in 1882 Newhaven's West Pier lighthouse really looked the part. The lighthouse was mainly constructed of concrete with the cement probably coming from the close by Heighton Quarry plus, of course, the plentiful supply of shingle and sand from the beach. On top was a copper dome with a weather vane. Up through the centre had been a chimney pipe to allow the escape of fumes from the days when the only source of illumination was from an oil lamp.
Inside the main tower was a spiral staircase leading to the lantern and gallery with narrow slit windows on the ascent. On the inland side there was a short flight of concrete steps that led up to the observation gallery with circular railings from which the public could watch the comings and goings of the boats. Adjacent to the lighthouse was a tide light for indicating whether or not it was high or low tide and therefore safe or not to proceed into the harbour. Next to this was the fog bell.
This lighthouse replaced a temporary which for mainly years languished locally performing many tasks; such as the car park ticket office, before finally wrecked beyond use.
In the 1970s it was claimed to be leaning off centre as the foundations began to slip and the lighthouse was blown up but not before the copper domed lantern room was rescued to be put on display locally.
The little wooden slatted light hut on the West pier was built in the late 19th century in the Newhaven marine workshops on the eastern side of the harbour and positioned at the narrowest part of West pier, 200 yards from the entrance, to show a light to ships. To transport the hut nearly two miles from the workshops to West pier, a narrow gauge railway was laid and the hut fitted with wheels was trundled to its resting-place. No one bothered to remove the wheels or length of railway track under the hut on which it rest, so they are still there to day. The hut is still in use, burning a green light, though powered by electricity in place of the original oil.