Surveys to assess the condition of iconic lighthouses in Dovercourt have been completed.

Work was carried out by a team of specialist engineers on behalf of Tendring District Council (TDC) to examine the Leading Lights – Victorian structures which guided ships around the Harwich peninsular until 1917, which are owned by the council.

The aim of the surveys is to establish what works would be required to preserve the historic structures – and potentially bring them back into use in the future.

Local residents may have seen some of the work taking place – a difficult feat on the offshore light which has to be accessed at low tide – and TDC is now awaiting the final report from the various specialists working in the team.

Peter Kotz, TDC Cabinet Member for Assets, said he was eagerly anticipating the report.

“We have been working closely with Historic England to look at safeguarding these iconic buildings, and with their support commissioned a range of surveys to help us establish what is feasible going forward,” Cllr Kotz said.

“We know the local community would have seen people working on the Leading Lights so wanted to keep people updated; and people can have their say too in our community engagement questionnaire.

“People’s memories of the Leading Lights are also welcomed as part of this community engagement.”

People’s views are being sought on the Leading Lights, and those interested can take part in the questionnaire online.

Surveys carried out include an architectural history study, ecology, asbestos, lighting design, and general condition.

Tony Calladine, East Regional Director, Historic England, said: “We’ve been pleased to offer support for the survey work on the Dovercourt Lighthouses. These striking structures are a well-loved local landmark on the Harwich coastline and mark an important milestone in the history of lighthouse design.

“The information gathered in this work, together with the thoughts and memories of local people, will help to ensure the protection of the lighthouses for people to enjoy now and in the future.”

Funding for the surveys came from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, using left-over cash from money provided for the Clacton 150 initiative, and TDC.

Condition surveys carried out in 2018 and 2019 found no emergency issues, but highlighted areas for further investigation. The latest work is required to support any future funding applications.






For more information on this news release, contact the TDC Communications Manager Will Lodge on 01255 686338.
Images show the Leading Lights, and survey work being carried out on them. Pictures: TDC.