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Opened with great ceremony by His Royal Majesty the Prince of Wales in 1904 after a 3 year build, it survived two world wars before decommission in 1960. For 56 years it provided a welcome landlight to vessels negotiating the perils of the English Channel. The Lighthouse features in Nickolaus Pevsner's "Buildings of Kent".
This imposing building is almost 46 metres high to the top of the weather vane, 11 metres in diameter and constructed of engineering bricks with sandstone inner walls. Over three million bricks were used to build the structure.
Internally there are a series of mezzanine floors made of slate and supported by steel beams and massive rivets. Each floor is linked by circular concrete stairs which hug the walls and have decorative wrought iron banisters. There are cambered casement viewing windows on all floors.