The Shambles Lightship

The Shambles Lightvessel was on station between 1859 and 1976.  it marked the Eastern end of the Shambles Shoal in position 50°36’50” North, 002°19’90” West, about 5 miles to the East of Portland Bill.  In later years its light showed 2 white flashes every 30 seconds, visible for around 25 miles in good conditions.  Its fog signal sent the letter ‘N’ in morse code ( - .) once every 30 seconds and could be heard about 12 miles away.  

Our illustration shows three of the vessels that served the Shambles station; Lightvessels 50, 67 and 15.  Two of these ships survive today, Lightvessel 50 acts as the club house of the Cabot Cruising Club in Bristol and Lightvessel 15 is now the Tollesbury Lightvessel, owned and run by the Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust.

The lightship was eventually replaced at the Shambles by a light-float and then a large buoy.