Five Fun Facts: a Unique Lighthouse

The Unique Nine-Legged Lighthouse at Burnham on Sea

Nine wooden legs 

The waters of the River Parrett meet the Bristol Channlighthouse_600_800el at Burnham on Sea. Notoriously  dangerous, with a huge range of 40ft, the tide in the area is the second highest in the world. The builders of the nine-legged Low Lighthouse also had to contend with shifting sands and mud-flats that would soon destroy the foundations of a conventional stone building. Wooden stilts were an ingenious solution that make the lighthouse unique in the UK.

Victorian ingenuity

The Victorians built the Low Lighthouse in 1832, a time of enormous interest in technology and travel,  to replace the Round Tower. This was  a tall building originally situated next to the Church, funded by the local  curate on condition the Burnham fishermen and residents paid for its upkeep.

The Low Lighthouse fell out of use in the 20th century but was recommissioned in 1983 and now flashes every 7.5 seconds.

Leading lights

The Victorians built another lighthouse, the Tower or High Lighthouse,  at the same time, and the two buildings worked together to lead navigators through the River Parrett. The Tower is now a private house.


lighthouse-550The Grade 11 listed Low Lighthouse is a wooden square, constructed on strong oak legs, with a single, dramatic, vertical red stripe. Set at a height of 36ft, the light reaches 23ft above the high spring tides and shines out over 9 miles.


Murder at the Lighthouse

The Low Lighthouse stars in the first Exham on Sea Mystery. Libby Forest finds a body on the beach under the lighthouse and discovers her unexpected gift for investigation, helped by Bear, the gigantic Carpathian Sheepdog and Fuzzy, her aloof marmalade cat.
Read more about the Exham on Sea Mysteries…


More facts and figures about the Burnham on Sea lighthouses at the uklighthouse website 


Book Quote: Horace Mann

Horace Mann
Quote from Horace Mann, an American politician who established public schools in the US. (Readers in the UK note – public schools in the US are unlike UK public schools, being more like state schools and available to all.)

More of my favourite book quotes:

Jane Austen

Lewis Carroll



Reading Quotes: Erasmus on Books

erasmus buys books

Desiderius Erasmus, 1469 – 1536, was a key figure in the Renaissance and the Reformation, criticising the corruption of the Church and Pope of his time. A priest and scholar, the illegitimate son of a priest from Rotterdam, he translated the Greek New Testament into Latin. During a long visit to England where he met Thomas More, he lectured at Cambridge. Among his works was “In Praise of Folly,” an attack on superstition and the Church.