Abandoned Lighthouses 5. Grand Isaac Cay

MJG Bahamas, Lighthouses, World Ruins Leave a Comment

The lighthouse on Great Isaac Cay, a small island in the Bahamas around 20 miles north-east of the Bimini Islands, was built in 1859 to guide trade-ships carrying exports of sun-dried sea salt from Inagua, rum from Nassau, and aragonite lime-stone to markets in the US. The lighthouse, though scoured by the sea and surrounded by the tumbledown buildings of the keeper’s house, is actually still in operation as an unmanned light. A tiny island not even visible on Google maps. Local lore tells of ghostly noises swelling about the lighthouse during a full moon- apparently the spectres of a …

Abandoned Lighthouses 4. Mogadishu

MJG Lighthouses, Somalia, World Ruins 2 Comments

The crumbling Italian lighthouse perched on the edge of Mogadishu’s Old Harbor was built over a century ago, and abandoned some 20 years ago as trade dried up and the failed state of Somalia descended into a home for extreme jihad and piracy. Now it stands as a reminder of the spectacular city Mogadishu once was, a bullet-pocked shell left to rot as a haven for homeless fishermen and qat-junkies. A view across Mogadishu’s Old Harbor to the Indian Ocean. Image from “[The lighthouse’s] spiral staircase is in a state of mid-collapse. Its hollowed-out rooms smell of sea rot and …

Abandoned Lighthouses 3. Tillamook Rock

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The Tillamook Rock Light was built in 1881 on a rock off Oregon coast called Tillamook Head. It was born in blood; with its grand opening overshadowed by a nearby shipwreck just days before its guardian gas-light was lit. 16 people died when the barque Lupatia wrecked on the rocks in a storm, proving the necessity of a lighthouse there. Tillamok Rock. Image from Wikipedia. Due to the extensive surveying and blasting necessary to build a lighthouse on the Tillamook sea-crag, combined with the erratic weather conditions, it was the most expensive West Coast lighthouse ever built. It soon became …

Abandoned Lighthouses 2. Talacre Beach

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The ‘Point of Ayr’ lighthouse has stood on Talacre Beach in Wales in various incarnations since 1776, watching over ships make the trek across Liverpool Bay from the Welsh town of Lllandudno. Abandoned since 1840, it has lived through numerous cycles of disrepair and refurbishment, with the latest reconstruction in 1994, leaving it a cheery red and white candy-pole on the beach, framed by the nearby offshore wind-farm. Point of Ayr on Talacre Beach, North Wales. Image from Richard John Linnett. White and red in the distance. Beginning another cycle of decay; the white paint peels away. Image from Adrian …

Abandoned Lighthouses 1. Rubjerg-Knude

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Construction of the Rubjerg-Knude lighthouse in Jutland, Denmark straddled the last two centuries, beginning in 1899 and finishing in 1900. It was built on a dune-less cliff 200m away from the sea and 60m above sea level, but as the years passed the sea drew closer, and with it came the dunes, which gradually began to swallow up the base of the lighthouse. The Rubjerg-Knude, buried in sand. Image from Milan Kuminowski. Initially it was 23 meters tall, but by 1968 only some 15 meters was accessible- the rest, including all the entrances, were stopped up and buried, finally shutting …