BISHOP ROCK TO UNDERGO TESTS THIS SUMMER

Bishop Rock lighthouse is to be tested this summer to assess how well it has coped with the recent storms. 

The iconic structure, situated approximately five miles west of St Agnes, is part of a project conducted on behalf of Trinity House aimed at giving greater protection to Britain's exposed lighthouses.

Wolf Rock, 21 miles off Scilly, and Longships - off the coast of Land's End - will also be tested. 

 

A team from Plymouth University, Exeter University and University College London want to know how the country's most vulnerable lighthouses are bearing up in bad weather, particularly the dramatic storms of 2013/14.

 

Tiny vibrations will be set up inside the buildings via an electrodynamic shaker to measure their structural response and monitor occasions when they are above their threshold. It is hoped that the results will aid safety measures and ensure that they are safe for maintenance engineers to visit.

 

Dr Alison Raby from Plymouth University, who is leading the project, told The Cornishman: "We're looking at the most vulnerable lighthouses in British Isles. Some of the most vulnerable are situated off the Cornish coast.

"It's a couple of days work and we'll be using Modal test analysis, a technique which is regularly used on bridges and buildings.

"It's the first time we've used this technique with a lighthouse though - It's groundbreaking."

She added: "Trinity House were concerned about the effect climate change was going to have on the wave impacts of their rock lighthouses.

 

"They have got a large number of towers dotted across the British Isles and they are all prone to having wave impacts on them, some of which are more vulnerable than others.

 

"Trinity House personnel stationed on these towers have, in the past, reported large or disturbing movements during stormy weather conditions."

 

Plymouth’s Smeaton Tower and Eddystone are among other lighthouses included in the study, which was funded by the Research Council UK.

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