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Woodman Point Lighthouse
WoodmanPointLighthouse.JPG
Woodman Point Lighthouse

Western Australia

Location Cockburn Sound, south of Fremantle
Western Australia
Coordinates 32°07′51″S 115°46′11″E / 32.130844°S 115.769709°E / -32.130844; 115.769709Coordinates: 32°07′51″S 115°46′11″E / 32.130844°S 115.769709°E / -32.130844; 115.769709
Year first constructed 1902
Automated 1955
Construction limestone
Tower shape cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern half white (seawards) and unpainted (landwards), white lantern room
Height 13 metres (43 ft)
Focal height 37 metres (121 ft)
Range 34.5 nmi (63.9 km)
Characteristic Oc. WRG 30s.
Admiralty number K1774
NGA number 9004
ARLHS number AUS-174

Woodman Light, also known as Woodman Point Lighthouse, Gage Roads Lighthouse and Coogee Lighthouse, is a lighthouse in Western Australia. Located on Woodman Point in the City of Cockburn, it has been in continuous operation since 1902. It is 32 feet (9.8 m) high, and constructed of locally quarried limestone. It is located on the highest point of land in the area, which is unusually far inland for a lighthouse. On the same block of land are two Federation Bungalow style keepers' cottage, also built of limestone.

The lighthouse is operated and maintained by the Fremantle Port Authority for the benefit of coastal shipping approaching Fremantle Harbour from the south-west. It is not usually open to the public. The keepers' cottages have not been used as such since the light was electrified in 1955; currently, they are used as private residences.

History

WoodmanPointLighthouse CoastView
Panoramic view of the coast from Woodman Point Lighthouse.

Originally known as Gage Roads Lighthouse, it was the first lighthouse built in the Cockburn area. It provided a light for coastal shipping for the Port of Fremantle, which commonly anchored offshore in Gage Roads. Previously such shipping had relied on the light on Arthur Head, but this was considered too small.

Construction of the Gage Roads Lighthouse commenced in October 1901. It was built by contractor W. C. Rose under a Public Works Department tender of £2,383. It had a kerosene vapour light supplied by Messrs Chance Bros & Co., Smethwick, England, and a timing pattern that hid the light for three seconds every 30 seconds. It had red, green and white sectors; the red and green were apparently installed incorrectly, and Woodman Light is to this day the only lighthouse in Australia with the red and green sectors reversed. It had a range of 17 nautical miles (31 km).

It was officially opened on 23 August 1902. An opening ceremony was held two days later, attended by a number of politicians and businessmen including the Minister for Public Works, Cornthwaite Rason; the Colonial Treasurer James Gardiner; the Colonial Secretary, Walter Kingsmill; and the Mayor of Fremantle, Lawrence Alexander. The first lighthouse keepers were a Mr Hutchinson and his assistant, Arthur Dray.

New condensing prisms were fitted in 1908. During World War II it was used by the army as a communications base and observations post, and was therefore placed under guard. In 1944 the clockwork mechanism controlling the occulting of the light was replaced, as the original was considered on the verge of failure. In 1955 the lighthouse was electrified, at a cost of £1300. The new electrified light had a range of about 34.5 nautical miles (63.9 km) in clear weather. On 19 July of that year, the lighthouse was de-manned. The last lighthouse keepers were a Mr McBride and Les Liversea.

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