Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Old Lighthouse, Belfry Flat Steps and Strange Breakwater

The Old Lighthouse :- High up on the cliff top between Birling Gap and Beachy Head (near Eastbourne) on the Sussex Coastline you'll come across the Belle Tout Lighthouse. She's a Grade II listed decommissioned lighthouse and well known British landmark having featured in films, TV series and adverts. Originally the lighthouse started off life as a wooden structure perched on the cliffs in 1828. In 1829 they begane rebuilding her with granite and by 1834 she was fully operational. To keep that light burning and warning ships of the treacherous rocks below it took two gallons of oil an hour to keep her 30 oil lamps going. In 1999 the entire structure was famously moved back from the edge in one piece in order to save it from the coastal erosion. She is now a unique bed and breakfast with various themed rooms.

Belfry Flat Steps :- Moody, imposing and intriguing. These are the metal steps that lead up to the precarious looking door that's the entrance to the Belfry Flat. The building in question is Scotney New Castle, a house which was built to replace the Old Castle between 1835 and 1843. The old Castle is now a ruin and remains a feature (complete with moat) at the bottom of the extensive garden. Whilst Margaret Thatcher was Briatain's Prime Minister she rented the Belfry Flat as a hideaway from her life in Westminster. The reason this Kent location was chosen was because the security services thought it ideal to keep the Prime Minister and her husband safe during their time there. The Castle cannot be seen from the road and is well hidden down a long driveway. It was also a great place for Dennis Thatcher to stay as it was also very near Lamberhurst Golf course. Apparently one of the flat's bathrooms is still decorated with the wallpaper that was put up by Margaret and Dennis Thatcher.

Strange Breakwater :- I wish I could tell you something about this odd looking breakwater that's on the Kemptown end of Brighton beach on the south coast of England but I know nothing about it at all. It looks like it's also an outlet and storm drain for the famous underground network of Victorian sewers that reside well below the City. The concrete bass that it sits on intrugues me because of its cog like styling. I have not been able to come up with a theory as to why it was designed like that, there must however have been a reason for it.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill