Stinker’s History: Fingal Lighthouse shone from 1862

Photo (c) 1893. Light keeper George Chapman Priest.

AS early as 1857 the need for a lighthouse on the rocky coastline off Port Stephens was identified, due to the increasing reliance on shipping.

As the Australian colony continued to grow, shipwrecks along the coastline became far more common.

Once agreed that a warning light was essential, a site in Point Stephens was chosen that would be of greatest effectiveness for the offshore mariners to get their bearings.

The sandstone material chosen for the construction of the lighthouse was brought up from the Hawkesbury by ships which were moored to a huge anchor off Box Beach.

The stone was unloaded onto a punt, brought ashore and transported to the site with a team of bullocks.

The 21 metre tower, which came to be known as The Outer Light, was completed by March 1862 and commenced operating soon after on 1 May.

The magnificent light keepers’ residence, constructed of the same sandstone used for the lighthouse, was completed in 1865.

By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE

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