The East Usk Lighthouse
The East Usk Lighthouse was constructed in 1893 by Trinity House and is one of two lighthouses that mark the entrance to the River Usk. Still in operation, the lighthouse sends out 2 flashes every ten seconds into the Severn Estuary. It is a vital navigational aid for ships approaching Newport and for over 100 years has played a vital role in marine safety and the economic prosperity of Newport Docks.
Originally built on legs, these were eventually covered as the level of the land increased due to the tipping of fly ash from the Uskmouth Power Station. Originally lit by 12 gas cylinders, which would last a year, it was converted to electricity in 1972.
It was the first Trinity House lighthouse in the UK to use the Dalén Sun Valve, an ingenious device for turning an unwatched light on and off using daylight. Combined with the flashing apparatus, the sun valve saved 94% of the gas compared to having the light operating all the time.
The lighthouse is now owned and managed by Newport Harbour Commissioners, a Board established by an Act of Parliament, responsible for safe navigation, dredging and pilotage within the Newport Harbour and River Usk up to Newbridge-on-Usk.
The lighthouse is situated within the Newport Wetlands. and is a popular and much photographed attraction for visitors. This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.
Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.
Newport Wetlands is a partnership between the Countryside Council for Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB