Record Details

NHER Number:1290
Type of record:Building
Name:Hunstanton Lighthouse


A 19th century lighthouse, the site of earlier lighthouses and the site of a Royal Observer Corps post. The current lighthouse was built during the first half of the 19th century. It superceded a wooden structure that was built in the late 18th century; this building itself had succeeded a lighthouse built around 1665. The standing building was used as a lighthouse until 1921 and from 1934 until 1957 it was used by the Royal Observer Corps. In 1957 an observation post was constructed alongside the lighthouse and this functioned until 1968. The lighthouse is now used as a private residence.


  • Hunstanton lighthouse.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • Hunstanton lighthouse in October 2010  © Norfolk County Council
  • Hunstanton lighthouse in October 2010  © Norfolk County Council


Grid Reference:TF 6763 4205
Map Sheet:TF64SE

Full description

Lighthouse, 1830. Now disused.
(S1) says 1840, superceding a wooden one. It was dismantled in 1921.
The wooden one had a parabolic reflector installed in 1776 (S2).
This reflector was of cotton strands stretched across and was Britain's first.
E. Rose.

(S3) in 1962 described this as connected by castellated wings to two gabled two storey houses.
These have been demolished; now modern houses are built into the base of the tapering tower which has a balcony on corbels with iron railings a surprising distance below the top. The lantern has been removed.
E. Rose (NAU), 1 April 1981.

Correction: Northern cottage remains.
E. Rose.

Being restored or renovated 1987.

(S4) records one standing in 1809.
R.J. Rickett (NAU), 16 March 1990

Attached to the south side of the enclosing wall was an Royal Observer Corps post; the lighthouse was used for this purpose from 1934 but the post was constructed in November 1957 to prevent crew members from climbing through the living quarters; the lighthouse was altered at the same time. Post closed October 1968 and only cropmarks in grass remains.
See (S6).
E. Rose, July 2000.

Press cuttings (S7)-(S11) in file.
(S12) (1997) in file.

NGR amended from original TF 6761 4205.
M. Horlock (NLA), 17 December 2002.

December 2004. Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey.
Land-based survey; Area A68, Context 6.
See assessment report (S13) for further details.
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.421).
J. Allen (NLA), 1 December 2005. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 20 July 2019.

April 2006.
A coal fired lighthouse stood at the site from 1665 until 1777, when it was destroyed by fire.
The replacement lighthouse (possibly the wooden structure mentioned above) had an oil fired light.
See (S9).
D. Robertson (NLA), 20 April 2006.

NIAS Journal 1998:
Royal Observation Post at south side of lighthouse. Demolished, however outlines of the access and ventillation shafts can be seen when the grass dries out in the summer.
See (S4)
W. Arnold (HES), 31 January 2011.

June 2011. Newspaper Article.
A carved wooden wolf has been placed near the lighthouse, next to the ruins of a chapel built to mark the spot where St Edmund first landed in 865AD.
See (S14) for further details.
D. Lefeuvre (HES), 8 August 2011.

Monument Types

  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LIGHTHOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROYAL OBSERVER CORPS SITE (Cold War - 1945 AD to 1992 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF6742 A,B,F-H; TF6741 E-J.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2008. Enjoy the high life at a hefty discount. 28 November.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. The east coast's guiding lights. 10 August.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S2>Publication: Hague, Christy. 1975. Lighthouses.
<S3>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 214.
<S4>Serial: Blomefield, F.. 1809. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk.. Vol X. 375. p 324.
<S5>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 64 SE 43.
<S6>Article in Serial: Catford, N.. 1999. ROC Underground Posts in Norfolk.. NIAS Journal. Vol 6, No 4. pp 59ff.
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Front row seat for fans of the sunset. 7 March.
<S8>Newspaper Article: 1996. Rare chance of a lighthouse. 8 March.
<S9>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1996. The most marvellous sight in the world. 8 March.
<S10>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1996. Lighthouse in danger. 14 May.
<S11>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2001. Picture of Hunstanton Lighthouse. 5 September.
<S12>Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
<S13>Unpublished Contractor Report: Robertson, D., Crawley, P., Barker, A., and Whitmore, S. 2005. Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey. Assessment Report and Updated Project Design. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1045.

Related records - none

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