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Hornby Light

Date: 1900-1920
270 x 378 mm
Medium: Watercolour on board.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00042378

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    HistoryThe Hornby Lighthouse, with its distinctive red and white stripes, was built at South Head in 1858 after a public outcry over the wrecks of the ships DUNBAR and the CATHERINE ADAMS off Sydney Heads in 1857, with great loss of life. The lighthouse was needed to mark clearly the entrance to Port Jackson for approaching ships, many of which mistook The Gap at Watsons Bay for the entrance and drove onto rocks. The Hornby Lighthouse was the third lighthouse to be built in New South Wales. It was designed by colonial architect Alexander Dawson, and was opened by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir William Denison. It was named after the family of Denison's wife, whose father was Admiral Sir Phipps Hornby.The lighthouse is 9 metres high, giving the light an elevation of 27 metres. It was originally powered with kerosene, converted to incandescent gas in 1904, and was de-staffed and automated in 1933. It now has a range of 22 km, with an electrically powered halogen light. Sandstone for the lightkeeper's cottages was quarried on the site. Two cottages were built and extended between 1857 and 1877. They are now part of Sydney Harbour National Park, administered by Parks and Wildlife NSW.

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