Lighthouse Known as Pepperpot

On the Isle of Wight, you can find the second oldest lighthouse in Britain. It stands at one of the highest points, The 35-foot octagonal lighthouse is called St. Catherine’s Oratory or also Pepperpot.

Back in 1313, a boat that was carrying 174 casks of wine was shipwrecked off of Atherfield Ledge. A local lord decided to purchase the stolen cargo from the robbers who had plundered the wreckage. However, even though the lord purchased the wine he was taken to a Southampton court and accused of the theft. He was chastised by the Church since the shipment had been carrying communion wine for a local monastery.

So that the lord would not be ex-communicated he had to build a lighthouse and oratory, Both the lighthouse and oratory were completed 15 years later in 1328. Unfortunately, the lord died a year earlier. The lighthouse was tended to by a lighthouse keeping priest to make sure that light shone through all of the eight openings in the tower. The priest also offered up prayers for the sailors the light guided,

In the 18th century the lighthouse was supported by four buttresses and today this is the only surviving Medieval lighthouse in Britain.


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