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Visiting the Range Rear Lighthouse, Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, England: Round Brick Tower Beacon Dating From 1878

Updated on August 8, 2018
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Gorleston-on-Sea: the lighthouse across the Yare
Gorleston-on-Sea: the lighthouse across the Yare | Source
Old Lighthouse, Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk
Old Lighthouse, Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk | Source
A Newfoundland Postage stamp from 1941 showing Wilfred Grenfell (1865-1940), a medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador
A Newfoundland Postage stamp from 1941 showing Wilfred Grenfell (1865-1940), a medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador | Source
Map location of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Map location of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk | Source

Remembering also Labrador medical missionary Sir Wilfred Grenfell

This round Lighthouse, executed in red brick, is of the variety with lantern and gallery.

Some history and features

The Lighthouse dates from 1878, and has a height of 21 metres. This structure near Great Yarmouth's harbour entrance is located in Gorleston-on-Sea, which forms part of the Borough of Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, England. (By way of explanation about the harbour: even though Gorleston-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth are all one in administratively, yet, in practical terms, the southern part of the eastern bank of the Yare River is referred to as being in Gorleston-on-Sea, while the western bank and the northern part of the eastern bank are said to be in Great Yarmouth.)

The Lighthouse's operating body is the Great Yarmouth Port Authority.

This landmark structure in Gorleston-on-Sea is known as the Range Rear Lighthouse, by way of differentiating it from another lighthouse known as the Harbour Light, dating from 1955, and housed in the former harbour master's office at the entrance to the Yare River.

There are actually two lights which operate from the Range Rear Lighthouse. One of these is a flashing white light, serving to indicate the rear of the harbour entrance; the other is a fixed red light.

The Lighthouse is now a listed building (protected in the United Kingdom).

The surrounding, built environment around the Range Rear Lighthouse has hardly changed in a century. Old photographs dating from the early 20th century show buildings immediately around the Lighthouse as largely identical to the way they appear today.

...and memories of Sir Wilfred Grenfell

Interestingly for Canadians, particularly, the Labrador medical missionary Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865-1940) resided at Cliff Hotel, Gorleston-on-Sea, in approximately 1892-93 while working among the local fishing community. He subsequently spent many years serving the coastal communities of Newfoundland and Labrador, firstly under the auspices of the Royal Society National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. A local road, Grenfell Court, a few minutes' walk from the Range Rear Lighthouse, is named for Sir Wilfred Grenfell.

June 25, 2012

Also worth seeing

Great Yarmouth has various, distinguished buildings of interest to the visitor, a few of these being: North-West Tower; St Nicholas's Church; the Anna Sewell House; the Britannia Monument, and others.

Burgh Castle (distance: approx. 6.8 kilometres), a structure which dates from the Roman era.


How to get there: United Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Great Yarmouth is served by rail from London Liverpool Street Station. The town is 265 kilometers from Heathrow Airport. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


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    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago


      Yes, Yarmouth and Gorleston are very interesting places with a lot of history, and the connection mentioned above might also be of interest to us Canadians. Thank-you for your comment.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      6 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      Very interesting read!

      Yarmouth's Roman walls are worth seeing, too, and there are a number of other fascinating old buildings.


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