'General Chart of the Seas surrounding the Eddystone Lighthouse', 1784.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by royal geographer William Faden based on the Channel Chart of 1784. Eddystone Rocks, 14 miles off the coast of Plymouth in Devon, are the location of the most famous lighthouse in Britain. The first lighthouse (completed in 1699) was swept away by a storm in 1703 and the second (completed in 1709) was destroyed by fire in 1755. The third, designed by the English civil engineer John Smeaton (1724-1792) and completed in 1759, was the first lighthouse to be built entirely of stone. This revolutionised lighthouse design and set a precedent for later lighthouse engineers.