West View of the Isle of Whight and the Needles From St Catherine's Lighthouse
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
View of the Isle of Wight and the Needles from St Catherine’s Lighthouse. The lighthouse is situated on the most southerly point of the island and is the only surviving medieval lighthouse in Britain. It is not known exactly when the lighthouse was built but it is mentioned in records which date from the early 14th century. The lighthouse has a unique rocket like shape and is sometimes known as the ‘Pepper Pot’. Originally there would have been a small chantry chapel on the eastern side of the lighthouse but this was abandoned in the 16th century and the stone was used by the local community for other building projects. Despite its location high on a hill, the lighthouse is actually often surrounded by mist which limited its helpfulness to sailors and it was replaced with another lighthouse at the base of the stack.