Shining lights for ships to sail safely
THE Green Point lighthouse has been guiding ships from 1824, standing tall, brilliant white with dazzling red bands. It was here that the art of light-keeping was first taught.
According to the book Lighthouses of South Africa by Gerald Hoberman with Bellville consultant Pharologist James Collocott, the lighthouse’s height was slightly adjusted in 1864 in order to install a new lantern house.
“A long time ago the lantern colour was changed and experimented on because of the building activities in the background. At one point it was painted yellow, but then changed back to its original colour of white and red,” said Collocott.
It was declared a national monument on January 12, 1973, and opened to the public.
Another interesting lighthouse is in the beautiful town of Kommetjie. It is known as the Slangkop Lighthouse. Established on March 4, 1919, the lighthouse is the tallest iron tower on the South African coast.
Standing 33 metres high, over the years it helped steer ships around the dangerous rocks and hidden reefs.
Creator of the Lighthouses of South Africa website Simon Baillie-Cooper told Weekend Argus Slangkop was established as a result of a commission appointed on September 29, 1906, by Sir Francis Hely Hutchinson, Governor of the Cape of Good Hope.
The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse has an interesting history. It was modelled on one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Pharos of Alexander. The structure was built on March 1, 1849.
This site is known as L’Agulhas – Cape of Needles and was named by the Portuguese navigator Bartholomew Dias in 1488.
Green Point Lighthouse is an eye-catching landmark in Mouille Point with its bold red and white candy stripes. Dating back to 1824, it was the first solidly constructed lighthouse built on South Africa’s coastline. The original lanterns were equipped with single wick Argand lamps fuelled by spermwhale oil. The weak rays could not be seen further than 6 sea miles.