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    Smeaton’s Lighthouse on the Eddystone Rocks

    Edward Rooker (1702 - 1774, British) , Engraver
    Samuel Wale (1721 - 1786, British) , Painter
    Object type
    Library reference
    height (print): 490mm
    width (print): 350mm
    Content object
    Depiction of the south elevation of the third lighthouse built upon the Eddystone Rocks, near Plymouth.

    The third lighthouse was built following the destruction of earlier versions designed by Henry Winstanley (1644-1703), and John Rudyard (or Rudyerd; 1650- ca.1718). The Royal Society recommended the civil engineer John Smeaton (1724-1792) for the job; his lighthouse was completed in 1759.

    Plate 8 of A narrative of the building and a description of the construction of the Edystone lighthouse with stone, by John Smeaton (London, 1791). The Royal Society’s copy was donated by the author on 20 January 1791.

    The plate is inscribed: ‘South ELEVATION of the STONE LIGHTHOUSE completed upon the EDYSTONE in 1759. Shewing the Prospect of the nearest Land, as it appears from the Rocks in a clear calm Day.’

    Includes scale: 1 inch = 6 feet
    Object history
    Smeaton’s lighthouse was modelled on the shape of an oak tree, and employed several novel engineering techniques. It remained in use until 1877, and was then re-erected on Plymouth Hoe, where it still stands as a tourist attraction. It can be seen in the background in the Royal Society’s two portraits of John Smeaton.
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > United Kingdom
    © The Royal Society
    Image number
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