Smeaton's Tower

Built in 1759, Smeaton's Tower was the fourth tower to guide ships safely through Plymouth's port. It replaced the earlier Rudyerd Tower (1709) which was set ablaze when the lantern house caught fire. Mr Hall, a 94 year old lighthouse keeper, claimed to have swallowed a piece of lead during the incident. To his dismay, neither the doctor nor the locals believed him. He died 12 days later and the autopsy unfortunately revealed a 7 ounce lump of lead in his stomach. John Smeaton's replacement on Eddystone's Rock was to be as solid as an oak, able to withstand the elements where the previous lighthouses had failed. His new construction was a complete success and his use of joint masonry would become a template for the construction of other lighthouses throughout the world. Indeed, Smeaton's Tower would still stand on Eddystone's Rock were it not for the fissures in the rock caused by the undermining of the sea. After a sound 127 years of service, Smeaton's Tower had become a landmark dearly loved by Plymouth's residents. Although new technology had now superseded Smeaton's Tower, in 1882 Plymouth's locals raised funds to have it dismantled and re-erected on Plymouth's Hoe " a testament and a tribute to Smeaton's engineering brilliance. On your visit, you can climb the 93 steps to the top of Smeaton's Tower for great views and an interactive display on Eddystone's lighthouses and the history of Plymouth's Hoe.

Address: Smeaton's Tower, Hoe Road
Postcode: PL1 2NZ
Town/city or near: Plymouth
County: Devon
Adults: 2.25
Children: 1.25


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