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The present Belle Toute Lighthouse was erected between 1832 and 1834 by James Walker on the headland west of the present lighthouse. This remained in operation until it was decommissioned in 1902 due to being frequently shrouded in mist and threatened with collapse because of recurrent falls of chalk from the cliff.

In 1902 the present lighthouse was brought into service, sited about 165 metres seawards from the base of the cliffs and standing some 40 m. high. It took two years to complete and involved building a coffer-dam and a cableway from the top of the cliffs to carry materials down to the site. 3,660 tons of Cornish granite were used in the construction of the tower.

Before 1951 the bands on the lighthouse were black and white. The red bands were first painted in 1951 as a daymark for inshore shipping and the white sections left unpainted in the colour of the natural light granite. It wasn't until 1980 that it was repainted giving the lighthouse its iconic red and white stripes.

Beachy Head lighthouse was automated and de-manned on the 28th of June 1983. It is monitored 24 hours a day from the Trinity House Operations & Planning Centre at Harwich in Essex.

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