North Stack

Fog signal station, North Stack


17 June 2012

North Stack, Anglesey

SH 21468 83938; 53.32216°N, 4.68193°W


The former fog-signal station located on the headland at North Stack on Holy Island, Anglesey, was constructed in 1780. It was originally equipped with a pair of cannon: a shot was fired at fixed intervals as a warning to shipping in foggy weather. The Magazine House was built in 1861 to store the charges for the cannon. In the late 19th century the cannon were superseded by an oil-fired siren comprising 35 horns. The siren has lain silent since 1986, when it was in turn superseded by a new facility at the nearby South Stack lighthouse. Mains electricity was brought to the site in the 1950s.

The accommodation block, built as two separate dwellings, was home to the fog-house keepers and their families. For the past 23 years, however, it has been home and studio to artist Philippa Jacobs and is currently up for sale. The remote property can only be reached on foot or by 4×4 via a 1.3-mile-long unmade track over the north-eastern slopes of Holyhead Mountain.

Philippa Jacobs (North Stack Studio);
North Stack Fog House (Jackson-Stopps & Staff, property brochure)

One of the 35 horns of the now defunct fog siren

North Stack Studio (plaque reads: Trinity House 1857) – former cottages for the keepers and their families

1861 Magazine – built to store the charges for the original signal cannon

South Stack Lighthouse, 1.3 miles away across Gogarth Bay

10 thoughts on “North Stack

  1. Nice one, Graham! We were a few miles further east at Llaneilian light house yesterday… these are great shots and infinitely more interesting and meaningful than the usual ones of this location.


  2. Pingback: Breakwater Quarry and Brickworks, Holyhead « GeoTopoi

  3. Pingback: South Stack « GeoTopoi

  4. Actually that isn’t a Siren type fog signal, its actually a Tannoy Triple Frequency electric foghorn which would of sounded a chord ( three frequencies sounded together were sounded) out to sea. They were quite powerful and loud, and could go as far as 6 nautical miles. Several lighthouses had these types of foghorn fitted around the coast ( Dungeness, Tater Du, North Stack, Lynmouth Foreland, North Lundy, St Anns Head, St Bees Head, Anvil Point, South Stack, and Strumble Head) most of these have now been shut off or replaced, Tater Du and Dungeness had the speakers built into the tower-some speakers still remain but no longer sound, and Tater Du lost its foghorn this year-a high frequency nautophone. Thanks for sharing the pictures, I haven’t seen the building from the front before.


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