A mint set of these charming stamps are wonderfully displayed along with additional imagery in this gloss finish, four page folder.
This year, 2018 sees the 200th anniversary of the very first fixed lighthouses on the Isle of Man and they are marvels of Georgian innovation.
Located in the middle of the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man provided a major risk to 18th century ships trading in between Ireland, Scotland and England; without any lights to mark its treacherous coast during the night it was the scene of many shipwrecks. Merchants from the surrounding ports petitioned the authorities on many occasions and ultimately, in 1815, an Act of Parliament broke the ice for the building of 3 lights on the Island: one at its northern point, the Point of Ayre, and 2 on the Calf of Man, a little island off its south-western point.
The lights were built and run by the Northern Lighthouse Board, based in Edinburgh, under among the best civil engineers of the age, Robert Stevenson, their Chief Engineer.
The Point of Ayre was remote; there were no roadways to it in 1816 and the site of the light tower was surrounded by a substantial shingle bank that was gradually moving to the south east. The Calf of Man was likewise remote, and its construction wasn't assisted by the activities of its tenant who didn't desire the lighthouses developed.
Stevenson successfully managed to build 2 spectacular lights on the Calf, each with their keepers' enclosures and homes. The 2 lights were developed straight in line with the reef, and as ships passed, and the lights appeared above each other, mariners knew the reef's place and might safely pass it.
Stevenson embellished the light towers with dolphins, the Three Legs of Man and other themes, inconspicuously included into the ironwork around the light chamber windows. Today, the lights on the Calf lie in ruins. In the 1870s a rock light tower was developed on the Chickens Rock reef to mark it, and the Calf lights were switched off.
The light at the Point of Ayre, however, is still in operation, though it was automated in 1993. It has its original Fresnel lens from 1890 and it displays 4 flashes of white every twenty seconds. The tower now has a distinct daymark of 2 red bands and is among the renowned structures of the Isle of Man.
52p: The Point of Ayre lighthouse, dwelling and service buildings
£1.53: The 'Winkie' automatic light, foghorn and Point of Ayre lighthouse
£2.60: Aligned to the Chickens' Rock are the upper and lower Calf of Man lights either side of a modern light in use 1968 – 2007
£3.10: The upper Calf of Man light, view to the west coast of the Isle of Man