The history of South Stack starts in 1665. Not long after the death of Oliver Cromwell and the restoration of the monarchy, Charles II, King of England, refused permission to grant a patent for a lighthouse to be built on the rock. The years passed but eventually in 1809, the Trinity House Corporation established the first light on the stack.
At a cost of £12,000, a lighthouse, designed by Daniel Alexander, was built. The original light was powered by Argand lamps and reflectors. And in 1840 a small railway was constructed along the cliff path to deliver a back-up lamp. This was taken to sea level when fog made it impossible to see the main light, which is about 200 feet above sea level.
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