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 Lighthouse Database » Africa » South Africa

Donkin Hill Lighthouse
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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General Information
Date Established: 1861
Date Present Tower Built: 1903
Height of Tower: 26 ft.

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Open to Public?: Yes, all year round

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Description
In 1849; the Imperial Lighthouse Service debated about building a lighthouse to mark Port Elizabeth. It was built at the top of Donkin Hill; a high hill upon which Sir Rufane Donkin; the former governor of Port Elizabeth; built a memorial pyramid for his late wife; Elizabeth Donkin; who died before she could step foot into the city. Therefore; Sir Donkin named the town Port Elizabeth in honour of his wife. The lighthouse is known as "The Hill" lighthouse due to the hill that it sits on. In 1861; the first Donkin Hill tower began service. Upon reaching the beginning of the 20th century; the old wooden tower was demolished and replaced by a newer, taller, and stronger concrete tower in 1903. The lighthouse continued to serve until the early 1960's when the ever growing city began to block the light. The keepers were fed up afterwards; so on Halloween night 1973; the Donkin Hill lighthouse was decommissioned; with no future plans for automation. The lighthouse stood dormant nearly 6 years until a private group came along and took control of the lighthouse. Then one night; the people of Port Elizabeth saw a light shining from the lighthouse. It had been turned back on as a decorative light to the city. Today; the Donkin Hill lighthouse's original 4th order Fresnel Lens shines it's blue light every night as a decorative light to the cit. The tower is open for climbing all year round for a small or no fee at all. The keeper's house contains the info center for the lighthouse. The light was replaced by a new fully automated yet very unattractive skeletal tower near the harbour called the Deal light.


Submitted by: Shinnecock14 Date posted: Sun Jan 8, 2012 Views: 3487