The first Eddystone lighthouse, Devon, c 1698.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by I Sturt after a drawing by Jaaziell Johnston, showing the first lighthouse to be built on the notorious Eddystone reef, 14 miles off the coast of Plymouth, Devon, in the English Channel. Henry Winstanley (1644-1703), Clerk of Works to Charles II at Audley End and Newmarket, produced his first design for the lighthouse in 1696. In 1697, while superintending the construction, he was captured by a French privateer who destroyed the work. Released the same year, he went back to work and completed the lighthouse in 1699. A storm on the night of 26 November 1703 destroyed the lighthouse, killing the light-keepers, the workmen and Winstanley himself.