'A General Plan of the Eddystone Rocks', 1785.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by royal geographer William Faden after an original drawing by John Smeaton. Eddystone Rocks, 14 miles off the coast of Plymouth in Devon, are the location of the most famous lighthouse in Britain. The first two lighthouses, of 1696 and 1709, were destroyed by storm and fire respectively. 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.