The SKERRIES LIGHTHOUSE is situated to the North-East of Holyhead. The rocks upon which the lighthouse stand are at the end of a low tract of submerged land, directly in the path of the major shipping lines operating to and from Ireland. Henry Mascard proposed that a lighthouse should be build on the Skerries as early as 1658. This was because he saw the lucrative possibilities of tolls that could have been levied on the site. Trinity House, however opposed the idea, as were the Irish Sea Traders, who signed a petition saying the same in 1705. It wasn't until 1714 that a lighthouse was built on the Skerries, when William Trench the lease holder of the Skerries was granted a patent by Queen Anne. The Skerries proved to be his ruin, however,even though he had been given the right to levy dues of one penny per ship and two pence per ton of cargo. When the light was first kindled on November 4th 1717 William Trench was a wealthy man, but mariners and traders did not pay their dues,rendering him into heavy debt. He was a ruined man upon his death in 1729. His lease was passed on to his daughter, and because of the nature of the debt, an Act of Parliament (which cased a great deal of embarrassment to Trinity House) was passed to give his family sole claim to the Skerries. In 1834 an attempt was made to purchase the patent for the lighthouse. Its proprietor Morgan Jones said that under the Act he was absolved from any responsibility to sell, and for five years after he opposed the purchase, as the lighthouse was an extremely profitable light. The Skerries was however, purchased by Trinity House in 1841 for a sum of £444.984. It was the last privately owned lighthouse in the British Isles to be bought by Trinity House.
Interesting facts and figures about the
* The original coal burning grate which surmounted the tower was replaced in 1805 by an oil lamp.
* It was converted to electric operation in 1927.
* The lighthouse was automated and demanned in 1987.
* The Skerries lighthouse is today controlled and monitored from the Trinity House Operations Control Centre at Harwich.
* Height of the tower: 23 Meters.
* Height of the light above mean high water: 36 Meters Optic: 1st order, 920mm focal height, 6 panel catadioptric asymmetrical.
* Lamp: 1 KW MBI
* Character: 2 flashes every 10 seconds.
* Intensity: 1,150,000 Candela
* Range of light: 22 Sea Miles
* Fog Signal Character: 2 blasts every 20 seconds.