"Point Stephens Light is an active lighthouse located on Point Stephens a point on an unnamed headland at the east of Fingal Bay 4.25km south of the entrance of Port Stephens New South Wales Australia. It serves in assisting vessels entering Port Stephens. It is considered an endangered lighthouse due to remote location and old age." "Intro
Point Stephens Light is an active lighthouse located on Point Stephens a point on an unnamed headland at the east of Fingal Bay 4.25km south of the entrance of Port Stephens New South Wales Australia. It serves in assisting vessels entering Port Stephens. It is considered an endangered lighthouse due to remote location and old age.Proposed in 1857 the lighthouse was built in 1862. Designed by Alexander Dawson the New South Wales Government Architect at that time both the lighthouse's flared base and the keeper's cottages combined terrace are unique architectural features for the period. The light source used was originally kerosene lamps which upgraded in 1912 to a Dalén light upgraded again to electric light in 1960 automated in 1973 and finally converted to solar power in 1990. In 1991 the last caretaker withdrew from the premises and very soon after the keeper's cottages were vandalised and burned.The tower is designed in the form of a Doric column. It is divided into four s and topped by a gallery carrying the lantern. The keeper's cottages are three one story cottages sharing a roof. Other structures which still stand at the location are a circa 1930 privy and workshop built in the 1950s.The lighthouse is managed as part of the Tomaree National Park. Access to the ligh either through a narrow spit of sand at low tide or by boat.
HistoryAs early as 1857 the need for a lighthouse on Point Stephens was identified due to the proximity to the entrance of Port Stephens and the dangers of the local coastline to ships. Another reason was that mariners were mistaking the entrance to Fingal Bay for that of Port Stephens. At least twenty four vessels are known to have been wrecked in the area. the most serious being the and the Pandora in 1836 with five lives. Another notable wreck was the Florence Irving in 1877.The lighthouse was finally built in 1862 and first lit officially on 1 May 1862. It was designed by Alexander Dawson the New South Wales Government Architect at that time with a flared base and an external stairwell an unusual feature for lighthouses in the time and area. The lighthouse keepers' cottages were also unique built in Victorian Gothic style with both the principal keeper and the two assistants sharing the same roof and a combined terrace.The original apparatus was a 10ft H Wilkins & Co. catadioptric. The light source was twelve kerosene lamps with a parabolic reflector for each lamp on a revolving iron frame in four groups of three. Two groups were white and two groups were red resulting in a light characteristic of an alternating red and white
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