Iconic Orfordness Lighthouse to be demolished - with bricks to be sold off
- Credit: Mick Webb
The threatened Orfordness Lighthouse will be demolished ‘as soon as possible’ after relentless coastal erosion left its structural foundations exposed.
The demolition of the tower is expected to cost around £50,000, with a museum to be created to house the artefacts that are salvaged.
Nicholas Gold, a trustee of the Orfordness Lighthouse Trust (OLT) charity, said the tough decision had to be made due to safety concerns, and a need to protect the surrounding habitat.
He said: "The porch is wholly undermined and the cellar wall is exposed - it's becoming increasingly dangerous.
"We've got to do something to safeguard the public. People still walk down to the lighthouse from Aldeburgh.
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"The demolition will commence as soon as possible."
Mr Gold purchased the Orfordness Lighthouse - which dates back to 1792 - for the OLT for £2,000 in 2013.
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Prior to its decommissioning in the same year, the tower's light had a range of up to 25 nautical miles.
Coastal erosion has threatened the lighthouse for many years, with the distance from the tower to the shoreline measuring around 20m in 2005.
This distance had halved by 2015.
The OLT spent thousands in various attempts to stave off the threat of erosion - including placing tube-like bags in front of the tower in an initiative dubbed 'Operation Sausage Roll' to prevent the Ness from being swept away.
However, the trust have now admitted defeat in their efforts to protect the lighthouse and made plans to demolish it.
There were proposals for the lighthouse to be taken apart brick-by-brick and rebuilt elsewhere on the Ness - but this suggestion has now been scrapped.
Instead, the near 100-ft tower will be demolished by Anglian Demolition and Asbestos, who have agreed to the project within the trust's £50,000 budget.
Mr Gold said the bricks recovered will then be sold off to try and meet the cost and allow the artefacts to be on public display.
He added that any donations to OLT and the project would be much appreciated.