Beacons were usually located on hill tops and were used in ancient Britain as a signal-fire to send warnings and messages from beacon to beacon across the country. A beacon chain was set up in 1588 to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada. In more recent times, beacons have been used to mark celebrations such as the hundredth birthday of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and also to mark the start of the new millennium. A few examples of modern replica beacons are displayed in this gallery.
The Golden Jubilee Beacon, close to the Memorial Tower on Crich Hill at Crich in Derbyshire, England. The present beacon was built to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, in 2002. An information board at the site indicates that a previous beacon on the hill may have been part of the beacon chain used in 1588 to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada. Beacons were also lit in 1988 to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the defeat of the Armada, again on 1st January 2000 to mark the start of the new millennium, and then again on 4th August 2000 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother's hundredth birthday.
High on Culver Down, above Bembridge, Isle of Wight, England; stands a beacon. From this viewpoint on the chalk down, one can see Bembridge, St Helens, the Solent and three of the Solent Forts. The distant coastline of Portsmouth is also just visible.
A beacon on Yarmouth Common, which overlooks The Solent, at Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, England. The location of this beacon, being at the north east of the island, would be ideally suited for sending signals to the English mainland. Another beacon is located high on the cliff at Culver Down, to the west of the island.
A beacon on the beach at Skegness in Lincolnshire, England. In ancient times beacons were used as a signal-fire and were usually located on a hill. Warnings or messages could be passed from beacon to beacon across the country. More recently they were used to mark the beginning of the new Millennium.
Image Ref. 20206-RDA
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