Lighthouses, Beacons and Navigation Aids



Situated 300 miles to the leeward of Cape Horn in the most consistently savage seas of the world, the Falkland Islands have been the final resting place of many a ship.  With shipping an essential part of life, lighthouses and beacons were a necessity from the start.  

Due to the hazardous approach to Stanley Harbour, a red and white wooden beacon was erected at Cape Pembroke in November 1846.  It was about 38 feet tall and consisted of an upright block of wood with a triangular piece of wood on top painted red and white. There were also two wooden poles erected on either side of the Narrows pointing to the entrance of Stanley Harbour.  As it was not visible at a sufficient distance the beacon was dismantled and replaced by a columnar wooden beacon topped with a flagstaff on the same spot in 1850 at a cost of £140.  

21 March 1854 saw the arrival in Stanley of the Danish schooner Caroline with two passengers and the new lighthouse.  It was designed by William Wilkins of London and pre-fabricated from cast iron.  Due to the amount of sand, a stone foundation was built on piles at a cost of £140.  Construction of the lighthouse commenced May 1854 and finished the same year at a total cost of £2,181.  It was 60 feet high, painted red with white bands and had 18 lamps which burnt rapeseed oil.  As the lighthouse was unfit for habitation due to the climate, a wooden house was also built, with a portion of the beacon, for the lighthouse keeper at a cost of £90.

In a Government Notice dated 29 February 1892 tenders were invited for the erection of two new iron cottages at Cape Pembroke Lighthouse in substitution for the present buildings as well as for alterations and additions to the present building.

In 1906 the lighthouse was moved onto a new foundation about 200 yards west of its original position due to the deterioration of the original foundations.



Cape Pembroke Lighthouse

Government Files

pdfSHI-CAP-1-1. Chief Clerk. Forwards report on conduct of J J Liddell Assistant Lighthouse Keeper.pdf1.77 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-2. Board of Trade Query No I. Lighthouse Keepers Imperial Income Tax.pdf280.49 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-3. Payment for medical attendance on lightkeepers Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf102.15 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-4. Payment of War Bonus to lightkeepers Cape Pembroke Lighthouse 1919.pdf147.06 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-5. Salaries of keepers at Cape Pembroke Lighthouse increased on the same basis as those of officials in the Colonial Government.pdf3.99 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-6. Income Tax 1920-21. Payable by lightkeepers Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf345.53 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-7. Fees payable to Light Keepers in respect of reporting ships entering the Port.pdf269.93 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-8. Principal Light Keeper reports that he is not able to report incoming vessels to the Collector of Customs out of office hours.pdf402.09 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-9. Instructions to Light Keepers regarding the reporting of vessels.pdf284.04 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-10. Income Tax 1921-22. Payable by lightkeepers Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf377.38 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-11. Principal Keeper Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Asks for letter to be forwarded regarding wages for Assistant Keeper.pdf1.36 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-12. Illness of Mr J Pearce Lightkeeper.pdf3.64 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-13. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Care and renewal of meteorological equipment.pdf267.3 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-14. Carriage of stores and reliefs to Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Mr D Lehen unable to continue the service.pdf2.4 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-15. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Installation of telephone extension.pdf108.08 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-16. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Respecting condition of winch at.pdf880 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-17. Instructions to light keepers regarding the reporting of vessels.pdf112.47 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-18. Principal Keeper Cape Pembroke Lighthouse enquires regarding medical attention for light keepers.pdf936.53 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-19. Fees payable to light keepers at Cape Pembroke Lighthouse for signalling vessels.pdf2.02 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-20. Principal Keeper Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Application for a free telephone to be installed in his house at Stanley.pdf339.48 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-21. Injury to H Wilkins while engaged in landing coal at Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf677.84 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-22. Question of replacing Cape Pembroke Lighthouse by an unmanned light.pdf905.37 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-23. Payment of medical fees in respect of services and attendances on lighthouse keepers Cape Pembroke.pdf2.27 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-24. Appointment of Mr William Lewis to be principal keeper Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf5.6 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-25. Defence of Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf1.16 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-26. Assistance Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf123.76 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-27. Appointment of Mr W Spencer as principal keeper Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf1.27 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-1-28. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf7.13 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-1. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Appointment of second assistant keeper and relief keeper.pdf3.44 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-2. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Repairs to and painting of.pdf4.27 MB 

pdfSHI-CAP-2-3. Honours lighthouse personnel.pdf499.38 KB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-4. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse. Requirements of stores.pdf12.06 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-5. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse staff.pdf6.91 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-6. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf9.69 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-7. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse stores.pdf4.72 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-8. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse - stores equipment repairs painting etc.pdf3.39 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-9. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse - requirements of stores.pdf1.15 MB

pdfSHI-CAP-2-10. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse - carriage of stores and reliefs to.pdf2.25 MB

Maps and Plans

pdfCape Pembroke Lighthouse.pdf13.09 MB

pdfR-SHI-CAP-1-3. Plans of Cape Pembroke Lighthouse - circa January 1964.pdf19.21 MB

pdfR-SHI-CAP-1-4. Plans of Cape Pembroke Lighthouse - circa January 1964.pdf17.72 MB


The following have been photographed at a quality for reference only and to keep the file size down.

pdfCape Pembroke Lighthouse photographs.pdf40.91 MB


pdfCape Pembroke Lighthouse - principal lighthouse keepers.pdf1.17 MB


Beacons and Navigation Aids

Government Files

pdfSHI-NAV-1-1. Return from Sea Lion Island of a Government boat lent for use in connection with the erection of a light there.pdf117.41 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-2. Mrs J B Luchtenborg applies to purchase the boat and shed left on Sea Lion Islands by the Government in preparation for the erection of the AGA light.pdf553.69 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-3. Erection of light on Sea Lion Rocks. Question of.pdf241.11 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-4. Harbour Master. Point William Light. Submits imprest advance warrant to cover cost of transport of material in connection with.pdf396.99 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-5. Suggested placing of additional buoys in Stanley Harbour.pdf3.33 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-6. Point William Light. Maintenance of.pdf1.15 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-7. Point William Light. Respecting the painting of.pdf689.14 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-8. Maintenance Point William Light 1924.pdf780.77 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-9. H H R Gresham. Suggests forwarding particulars of Point William Light to Board of Trade.pdf628.44 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-10. Maintenance of Point William light.pdf919.6 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-11. Provision of unattended light for Sea Lion Island.pdf298.5 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-12. Scrubbing and painting of ironwork of harbour lights.pdf740.36 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-13. Maintenance of Point William Light 1926.pdf227 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-14. Harbour Master. Reports disappearance of the mark buoy to the north-westward of Tussock Point Port William.pdf2.1 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-15. Care and maintenance of Point William and harbour lights 1927.pdf2.85 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-16. Proposed establishment of small automatic light on West Falklands.pdf1.8 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-17. Gift of 1000 to Col Govt by J Hamilton Esq of Weddell Island Porpoise Point Light.pdf8 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-18. Reflector signs as an aid to navigation.pdf185.39 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-1-19. Gift of 1500 to Govt of Falkland Islands by J Hamilton Esq for the provision of a light on the West Falkland.pdf9.93 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-2-1. Harbour and coastwise lights.pdf7.9 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-2-2. Harbour and coastwise lights.pdf10.59 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-2-3. Navigation lights and beacons.pdf1.15 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-2-4. Navigation lights and beacons. Radio beacon.pdf1.19 MB

pdfSHI-NAV-2-5. Navigation lights and beacons. Mengeary light.pdf958.28 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-2-6. Maintenance of Knob Island Light at Fox Bay.pdf710.24 KB

pdfSHI-NAV-2-7. Mengeary Point Lighthouse.pdf1.38 MB 

Maps and Plans

pdfBeacons and Lights.pdf2.64 MB 




pdfR-SHI-CAP-1-1. Colonial Lights Falkland Islands. Cape Pembroke Lighthouse and Mengeary Point Lighthouse. Report on condition of lighthouse stations following survey carried out during period 29th April 1959 to 6 May 1959.pdf2.91 MB

pdfR-SHI-CAP-1-2. Falkland Islands. Reports on Cape Pembroke Lighthouse and Navigation Aids in Port William and Stanley Harbour. November 1983.pdf7.4 MB




While every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy the Jane Cameron National Archives does not accept responsibility for any omissions or errors in these records.

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