Penarth’s nearest lighthouse – the Monkstone Lighthouse, which stands roughly half way between Penarth and Weston Super Mare, has been switched off today and will remain out of action for the next eight weeks .
Trinity House – which manages all lighthouses around the UK – has started a refurbishment programme at the unmanned lighthouse today which is scheduled to last until the end of June .
In the meantime all aids to navigation normally exhibited from the lighthouse have been temporarily discontinued.
In place of Monkstone’s familiar flashing light ,the rock on which it stands – the “Monkstone” is marked by a temporary buoy – the Monkstone West Lighted Buoy.
Position : Latitude 51° 24’.968N., Longitude 003° 06’.328W.Characteristics : Pillar: Yellow above Black above Yellow: Q(9) 15 seconds with a West Cardinal Topmark
There’s also a Monkstone South Lighted Buoy. Position : Latitude 51° 24’.693N., Longitude 003° 05’.852W. Characteristics: Pillar: Yellow above Black: Q(6)+ L.Fl. 15 seconds with a South Cardinal Topmark
The 75 foot high Monkstone lighthouse was built on the Monkstone Rock by Trinity House back in 1859 .
Even though it’s been battered by waves and weather and has been torn-at by the tides twice a day for 150 years it’s still going strong and was converted to solar powered operation in 1993.
Meanwhile the lighthouse on the island of Flatholm is still under wraps and sheathed in protective covering as maintenance work continues there too.