Godrevy Lighthouse

to the lighthouse..........

Godrevy Island lies approx three hundred yards off Godrevy Point and is the largest rock of a dangerous reef called the Stones which borders St.Ives bay for approx 1 mile at its eastern approach. The Stones reef had always been a hazard to shipping and a lighthouse had been considered many times prior to its construction but nothing came of plans until the SS Nile was wrecked in 1854 with the loss of all on board.

Godrevy Lighthouse was built in 1858–1859.

The lighthouse is a white octagonal tower, 86 feet (26 m) high and made of rubble-stone and mortar. The original light was a revolving white one, with a fixed red light below the main light, which could be seen over a 45-degree arc when a ship was in danger of the reef. This was later replaced by a red sector on the main light itself.

The light was originally manned by three men at a time, but in 1934 the lighthouse was automated. The light flashes white/red every 10 seconds, with the red sector only being visible in the arc of danger from the reef. The range of the light is around 12 miles (19 km). It is now solar powered and controlled by Trinity House from its operations control centre in Harwich.

This lighthouse is believed to have been the influence in Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse. Although the book’s lighthouse is in Scotland, as a child Woolf regularly holidayed with her family in St Ives, where they owned a house with views across the bay to Godrevy.
To the north of Godrevy headland are two coves named Mutton Cove and Kynance Cove beyond which the Nathaga Rocks lie off Navax Point. Castle Giver Cove and Fishing Cove lie to the east.

Beyond Fishing Cove, the coast swings to the east towards Hell’s Mouth and North Cliffs. The land here rises to approx 290 feet (90 metres), the highest point on this section of clifftop.

The cliffs, offshore rocks and coast around Godrevy Head form a renowned habitat for seabirds including cormorants, fulmar, guillemot, and razorbills and several species of gull. There is also a substantial population of grey seals throughout the year. Occasionally, bottlenose dolphins can be seen in the area.

Ask the skipper about the ‘Minnie Flossy’ & Secil Japan’ shipwrecks.