Grand Turk Lighthouse

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Lighthouse Road, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

Grand Turk Lighthouse Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
621 reviews
Grand Turk Lighthouse Mar 31, 2017
Grand Turk Lighthouse dates to 1852. Located at the northern tip of the island, the lighthouse was installed to protect against the many shipwrecks that had occurred on the reefs of the Turks Island Passage. The cast iron lighthouse was prefabricated--manufactured in England--and assembled on the island. It stands 60 feet (20 m) high. The lighthouse remains in operation today. A gift shop and snack bar are located in the former lighthouse keeper's house

Admission to the lighthouse and park is US$3.
Grand Turk Lighthouse (1852).
Lighthouse signage.
Lighthouse park.
Interpretive marker.
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Andy99 says:
I don't believe I had either. It was fabricated by Chance Brothers, so there must be more of them.
Posted on: Apr 28, 2017
AdamR3723 says:
I don't think that I have come across a cast-iron lighthouse before.
Posted on: Apr 28, 2017
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grandmar grandmar
245 reviews
Cast Iron Lighthouse Nov 12, 2008
One of my favorite things to do is to research lighthouses, and this lighthouse is one of the outstanding things about Grand Turk. You can see it as you come in by ship.

This rare early cast iron lighthouse was partly restored and reactivated in 1998. The focal plane is 108 feet with a white flash every 7.5 seconds. It is located at the northern tip of Grand Turk Island, accessible by road.

The lighthouse was built by Chance Brothers in London in 1852 (designed by Alexander Gordon) and shipped to Grand Turk where it was assembled. When it was built, the lighthouse cost £4 100. Since the lighthouse is cast iron, it has to be kept painted or it will rust. You can see the rust on it, and it has unfortunately gotten worse since we were there in 2008

It is estimated that there may be 1,000 wrecks off the Northeast Reef. This reef runs 2.8 miles into the sea in the Turks Island Passage on the trade routes from Cuba and Hispaniola back to Europe. All kinds of cargo was included on those ships including coal, kerosene oil, lumber, salt, potatoes and codfish. The lighthouse was originally constructed mainly at the insistence of Americans who had salt trading ships visiting the island.

It featured 8 Argand type whale oil lamps with reflectors which magnified the light to 450 times its original intensity. Gordon called it “a grand sea light” but in the first four decades of its use, wrecks continued along with complaints that the light was either not lit or too dim. Some think that this was done deliberately in order to have the wrecks and loot the cargo.

The number of wrecks was diminished after the Trinity Imperial Lighthouse Service in Nassau took over the maintenance and inspection of the lighthouse in 1894. In In 1943 Chance Brothers installed a Fresnel lens and kerosene light which had a visibility at sea in excess of 15 miles, but it was still run with kerosene. Finally in 1972, the light was electrified and automated


In 2006, Carnival Cruise line repainted and refurbished the lighthouse, keeper's cottage, and other light station buildings as a part of a plan to develop Grand Turk as a regular stop for cruise ships. Cruise ships offered hop on-hop off bus tours that included the light station and the town. However, right after Hurricane Isaac, the bus just gives a tour of the island (there's no town to stop at). The tour did stop at the lighthouse. You can't climb the lighthouse but you can buy water and snacks there and there is a trail with informational signs.

The 4º Fresnel lens was removed from the lighthouse in 1971 when it became electrified and is on display at the Turks and Caicos National Museum. In November 2008, there was no fee to visit the lighthouse.

Bob went out to the beach area and took pictures from there. I just walked around the lighthouse from closer in.
Grand Turk Lighthouse
Grand Turk Lighthouse from a cruis…
Grand Turk Lighthouse with sign
Grand Turk Lighthouse
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Grand Turk Map
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Grand Turk
photo by: ahtibat17