Lighthouses of Cornwall and Devon

New Book

This beautiful book will look great on any coffee table and will make an ideal gift.

Written by pharologist, Ken Trethewey, with over fifty years of first hand experience at these lighthouses, the books contain dozens of beautiful new images of all the lighthouses in the region, in 475 pages of full colour of a quality hardback edition larger than A4.

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The Book's Background

Pharologist Ken Trethewey took his first lighthouse photograph at the age of ten and over the past sixty years has compiled a wonderful portfolio recording the many changes that have occurred in lighthouse technology. In a period that has seen the end of the great tradition of lighthouse keepers and the introduction of automation, satellite navigation and LED lighting, there have been great pressures placed upon the guardians of our lighthouse heritage. Many lights have been taken out of service, or just closed to the public. Gone are the days when families enjoyed the atmosphere and the challenge of living and working in lighthouses, and when casual visitors would be welcomed inside to climb the tower and see the wonderful equipment installed there. The tall stories of lighthouse life are in danger of being lost.

What's In It?

This book captures a detailed snapshot of the world of lighthouses in 2020 as Ken, now 70 years old, completes a superbly detailed narrative of his lifetime of encounters with the lighthouses of the region where he was born and brought up - the counties of Devon and Cornwall in the southwest of England.

The tradition of showing lights for the benefit of mariners is much older than many people realise, especially in the far southwest of England which has always been closely associated with the sea. In a previous major work, the author presented the history and development of lighthouses from ancient times. In this book, the links from the past have been followed through to the recent history of Cornwall and Devon and its unique and fascinating story at the cutting edge of lighthouse technology. The author uses his lifetime’s experience of these lighthouses to present his own viewpoint of this beautiful topic, whether by means of his personal diary entries or his great catalogue of superb photographs.

The narrative is punctuated with many fascinating extracts from the historical records - firsthand accounts by lighthouse keepers, newspaper reports, and other commentaries. A collection of historic drawings and images from official archives forms an additional ingredient. Finally, in a world that is now changing rapidly due to technological development, a summary of the latest states of the lighthouses is given in the form of data and other up-to-date information.


It has a Foreword by the British yachtsman and Internationally renowned helmsman, Pete Goss MBE. Pete, a long-time resident of the Torpoint area of Cornwall, was invested in the Legion d'Honneur for the selfless rescue of the stricken French sailor Raphaël Dinelli in the remote South Atlantic during the 1996 Vendée Globe solo around the world yacht race. Needless to say, he cares deeply about lighthouses.

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Sample Pages

Bonus Material on this Site

A Visit to Plymouth Breakwater