High tides and strong winds destroy bungalow next to Orfordness Lighthouse

The bungalow, pictured in 2016, has now collapsed Picture: SIMON HOLLAND/CITIZENSIDE

The bungalow, pictured in 2016, has now collapsed Picture: SIMON HOLLAND/CITIZENSIDE - Credit: citizenside.com

Orfordness Lighthouse’s bungalow has collapsed after being battered by strong winds and high tides.

The structure was undermined by this weekend's stormy weather according to its owners, the Orford Lighthouse Trust.

The building dates back to the late 19th century and was used as outhouses for the cottages that once stood on either side of the lighthouse.

When the lighthouse was automated, the cottages were demolished, leaving the bungalow behind to serve as a bunk house for visiting engineers.

It's not the first time that the bungalow's structure has been undermined with the trust having carried out remedial work to shore up the shingle beneath in the past.

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However, there is no longer any beach in front of the lighthouse, so the trust says the work is no longer feasible.

A spokesman for the Orford Lighthouse Trust said: "It is the current intention of Orfordness Lighthouse Trust to fence off the collapsed building and to demolish it as soon as can be arranged.

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"This is to prevent the building being a danger to curious visitors and so it can also serve as an extra defence to the lighthouse structure and the oil store."

Plans to move the lighthouse structure itself further inland have long been considered but have yet to be approved.

For now the trust said that the structure of the lighthouse remained sturdy.

"Internal examinations of brickwork in the cellar (including a diamond drill through the 2m thick foundations) have proved that the bricks that make up its structure have not been infiltrated by damp and nor does the building show any cracks that would suggest the lighthouse has been undermined.

"The temporary defences (the Geo-Textile "sausages") put down year after year by Orfordness Lighthouse Trust have worked well.

"We have no intention of letting the Lighthouse 'fall into the sea' and never have.

"It has always been the stated aim of Orfordness Lighthouse Trust to keep the building standing and open to visitors for as long as possible, then to preserve the artefacts after that."

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