Posted on 13 Comments

Low Tide at Whiteford Lighthouse

Painting of Gower, Whiteford lighthouse

It was a long walk to the lighthouse at  Whiteford Point on the northern tip of the Gower Peninsula. The last time I walked here, I just looked at the lighthouse from the beach. This time I wanted to get up close. We had left it late and the tide had already turned when we got here. The last stretch to the lighthouse is across lots of slippery, small rocks were surprisingly difficult to walk across. It took a good 20 minutes to make our way across them. 

I was accompanied by Seamas, myy husband, and our loyal dogs, Biddy and Mitzy, who were not keen on the rocks but will follow Seamas anywhere.

Whiteford Lighthouse
Seamas (in hat) and dogs at Whiteford Lighthouse

The iron victorian lighthouse had cormorants perched on it when I got there (ahead of the others) but a motor boat came past and they all flew off!

Whiteford Lighthouse
Birds flying away from Whiteford Lighthouse

Here’s my painting. I love the colour of the rusted iron of the massive thing and the sea-life that clings to the lower half. It was a hazy day so the sky is bluish and the sea has a slight mauve tinge to it. The waves are gentle but advancing.

Painting of Lighthouse at Whiteford Point, Gower
Low Tide at Whiteford Lighthouse (SOLD)

The lighthouse looks quite forlorn in the sand. It has no rock to perch on, just the sea bed. The cormorants, don’t care. They like their iron perch!



13 thoughts on “Low Tide at Whiteford Lighthouse

  1. It’s so interesting to watch nature slowly taking back some of these man-made, large, relics from the past, isn’t it, Emma? Lucky you to have such a nice one nearby! Makes me think of the Maunsell Forts at the mouth of the Thames – old rusty relics from WW2 – have you heard about them or seen them? I saw something on tv about them fairly recently!

    1. Those forts are wonderfully wierd. I find WW2 pillboxes fascinating too as they are dotted all over the coastline here.

      1. There’s quite a few of those in Sussex and Essex around the area of Colchester, even now,

  2. I love the colours in your painting, those rusts…

    1. The rust is what makes it a joy to paint!

  3. Now there’s a lighthouse with character! Worth a bit of scrambling, Emma 🙂 🙂

  4. De corosie van het ijzer en de roestige kleuren werden prachtig uitgevoerd.Wat een prachtig schilderij

    1. Ik vraag me af hoelang het zal duren om helemaal weg te roesten? Dank je.

  5. Love this painting Emma! Whats the history?

    1. Hi Wayne, I wrote about this lighthouse last year here

      Some facts: – It is the only wave-swept cast-iron tower of this size in Britain. The handful of other surviving lighthouses of this type stand well clear of the water on either harbour piers or reefs.
      This part of Gower was very treacherous and a large number of ships were wrecked at both nearby Broughton Bay (where ships used to be able to anchor in the bay until it was silted up in mid-nineteenth century) and here along Whiteford Sands.
      The working pattern for the lighthouse keepers was two weeks at Whitford Lighthouse alternating with two weeks at Llanelli Harbour Lighthouse. It can’t have been nice to live in as apparently it swayed “by several inches”, according to lighthouse keeper in 1884. The lighthouse was discontinued in 1920

      1. using iron in a saltwater environment,what were they thinking?
        Thank you Emma for explaining!

      2. Yes, now you mention it its seems like madness!!

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