Portsmouth Harbor Light
Cyberlights Lighthouses - Portsmouth Harbor Light  

Portsmouth Quick Facts

Year Station Established: 1771

Is the Light operational? Yes

Year Light First Lit: 1877

Year Automated: 1960

Shape: Conical

Tower Height: 48   ft.

Original Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel

Present Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel

Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
     Year Constructed: 1872
      Number of Stories: 1.5
      Architectural Style:
      Construction Materials: Wood

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Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
Portsmouth, NH

Cyberlights Lighthouses - Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

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Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse Videos

Last Visited: August, 2003

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is located within Fort Constitution in New Castle, New Hampshire, USA.

The station was established in 1771 and was the 10th of 11 light stations established prior to the American Revolution. The first tower was a shingled wooden structure with an iron lantern and copper roof. Its light source was three copper oil lamps.

The first tower was replaced in 1804 by an 80-foot (24 m) octagonal wooden tower approximately 100 yards (91 m) east of the 1771 tower. In 1851, twenty years after the establishment of Whaleback Lighthouse, the tower was shortened to 55 feet (17 m). Three years later, in 1854, the tower was fitted with a Fourth (4th) Order Fresnel Lens.

In 1878, a new 48-foot (15 m) cast-iron, brick-lined lighthouse tower was erected on the same foundation as the 1804 tower. When the new tower was completed, the surrounding remains of the 1804 tower were removed.

The current light is a fixed green signal that is visible for 12 nautical miles (22 km). The light is made green by an acrylic cylinder that surrounds the lens.

Other structures at the light station that are still standing are the 1903 oil house (restored in 2004) and the 1872 keeper's house (currently United States Coast Guard offices).

On October 8, 2009, Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Source: Wikipedia

Go to http://www.portsmouthharborlighthouse.org/ for information on tours and open houses.

Personal Note:
If you're in the Portsmouth area when one of the open houses is happening, you can't pass it up. It's well worth it.

Latitude/Longitude: 43.071051,-70.708643

Nearest Address: Sullivan Ln, New Castle, NH

  • From Route 1 in downtown Portsmouth take Route 1A SOUTH.
  • Follow Route 1A south until you get to Route 1B on your left. The road is called Wentworth Road.
  • Take Route 1B/Wentworth Rd. appx. 2.3 miles. The road will go sharply to the left. There should be signs for Fort Constitution and the Coast Guard base.
  • Also, about 1/2 mile before the fort on the right should be a sign for Great Island Common. You can go there to view Portsmouth Harbor Light as well as Whaleback light.
  • (This might not be the most direct way to the lighthouse but we found it to be the easiest)

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