Holyhead breakwater lighthouse
Photo : Tim Snow

Holyhead Breakwater Lighthouse

The Holyhead Breakwater Lighthouse, which was completed in 1873, was most likely designed by Victorian civil engineer, John Hawkshaw who was born in 1811. His most famous work was the Severn Tunnel. The Lighthouse on the Breakwater was the last structure to be built.

The Lighthouse at the end of Holyhead Breakwater is the only one on Anglesey that is square, it was built like this to make the accommodation easier for the Lighthouse keepers, apparently most of the living quarters inside still remains in intact.

It is 3 storey The original portrait styled windows are now bricked up.

Holyhead Breakwater lighthouse is a distinctive square shape

Breakwater Lighthouse distinctive square shape

The Lighthouse is quite distinctive like most, now rendered and painted Black and White, but not always, originally was unpainted just plain Limestone bricks.

It is possible to see the faint outline of the original Limestone blocks in the black painted section.

The external features of the Lighthouse include a roll moulded string course projecting just above the first course. The height of the Breakwater Lighthouse is only 19 meters, although it lies 21 meters above the high water mark due to the height of the breakwater itself.

Holyhead Breakwater lighthouse with railway track sleepers

Railway line up to Breakwater lighthouse

On the lower level of Holyhead Breakwater, which is on the eastern side of the structure, the remains of the railway sleepers that once carried the railway lines.

This railway line was used for the locomotives that carried the limestone from the nearby limestone quarry on Holyhead mountain to build this massive structure.

Some of the actual original metal railway tracks can be seen just before you arrive on the Breakwater.

Holyhead Breakwater lighthouse with yacht at side

Breakwater Lighthouse Automated

The Holyhead Breakwater Lighthouse was manned until November 1961, when it was automated.

Like most of the Lighthouses within Gwynedd it is operated by the Control Centre in Holyhead which is the responsibility of Trinity House.

The Holyhead Port Authority which is run by Stenna is responsible for the upkeep of the Breakwater lighthouse.