A Cape Town Cape Town Shipwreck tagged image from photographer – gumtau as published on Flickr.
South Africa Prospekte
Image by gumtau
A lighthouse at Cape Agulhas was suggested by Colonel Charles Collier Michell, the Surveyor-General of the Cape, in March 1837. A public meeting at Cape Town on 11 July 1840 resolved to raise funds for the construction of the lighthouse, and Michiel van Breda, the founder of Bredasdorp, offered to donate the land on which it was to be built. Apart from local contributions, funds were received from Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Manila, St Helena and London; by June 1843 the sum raised was £1,479.3s.9d (£1,479.19).
In 1847 the government agreed to fund the construction at a cost of £15,871; building work began in April of that year and was completed in December 1848, and the light was first lit on 1 March 1849. Originally it was fuelled by the tail-fat of sheep, but in 1905 an oil-burning lantern was installed. In March 1910 the lens was replaced with a first-order Fresnel lens. In 1929 the oil burner was replaced by a petroleum vapour burner, which was in turn replaced in 1936 by a four-kilowatt electric lamp powered by a diesel generator.
In 1968 the lighthouse was taken out of service, and the light moved to an aluminium tower, as it was discovered that the sandstone walls were crumbling due to excessive weathering. The building was declared a national monument in 1973 and is also a Western Cape provincial heritage site. Restoration and reconstruction was performed by the Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum and the local council, and the lighthouse was recommissioned in 1988.[4
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