Eddystone Lighthouse Pavement

Decorative paving design installed at Millbay opposite the Duke of Cornwall Hotel. The artwork illustrates the footprint of Smeaton’s Tower and highlights its revolutionary structural plans and system of interlocking blocks, the strength of which changed the face of lighthouse building.

Photograph of the pavement where the eddystone lighthouse internal structure can be seen.Category: Permanent
Date: 1999
Location: View on our Public Art Map [desktop and tablet; requires Google sign-in]
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Plymouth City Council



Project Description

The decorative pattern highlights the intricate stone design that made engineer John Smeaton famous. The celebrated lighthouse was constructed in Millbay and originally sited out to sea on the Eddystone Rocks where it stood strong for 123 years, only replaced when erosion made the rock base unstable. It was then dismantled and relocated to Plymouth Hoe as a tribute to Smeaton who was considered by many to be the father of civil engineering.

The lead nugget within the pattern references the lead cut out of the stomach of lighthouse keeper Henry Hall. When Rudyerd’s Light (predecessor of Smetons Lighthouse) caught fire on 2 December 1755 he accidentally swallowed some molten lead whilst trying to escape, he died twelve days later.

Photograph of the eddystone lighthouse pavement.