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Braunton Lighthouse.

Braunton

There used to be two lighthouses on Braunton sands, Devon where the River Torridge and the River Taw meet and flow out to the sea and Bideford bar.

The high light was a tall white painted close boarded wooden octagonal tower lighthouse supported outside with wooden braces, with a red stripe and a traditional light, and a keepers house attached situated at the end of Braunton Sands near Crow Point. It was built in 1820 by Joseph Nelson and altered in 1889 . The tower was 86 feet high and the light was visible for 14 miles. The keepers were withdrawn in 1945 when the tower and dwellings became unstable and the light was eventually made redundant and demolished in 1957.

The low light was a white painted close boarded wooden hut with a red stripe and a window light supported on wooden legs and situated about 300 yards from the high light. It was built in 1802 and altered in 1902. The tower was 15 feet high and was demolished in 1957 when it became redundant.

Beside the low light was a large mast and ball. In the estuary was a tide marker consisting of a horizontal board fixed to 2 posts. When the tide reached the bottom of the board it was either half flood or half ebb. The keeper of the high light kept an eye on this during daylight and when the tide reached the bottom of the board he walked over to the dunes to the low light and raised the ball for half flood or lowered it for half ebb. At night the system was more guess work and with the aid of a torch a decision was made to light either the red or green light.

Today you can still see the dwindling remains of the highlight situated about ½ mile from the replacement modern light. It is a small tubular steel structure lighthouse with a navigational light on top currently operated by Trinity House and situated further up Braunton sands at Crow Point. The tower is 25 feet high and the light is visible for 5 miles.

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