The lighthouse stands on a reef known as the Stones. It was built in 1859 following the loss of all hands aboard the SS Nile, a 700 ton steamer wrecked upon the rocks. The lighthouse was manned until 1939.
On January 30th 1649 HMS Garland, a British Royal Navy ship carrying the clothes and possessions of King Charles I, his fugitive wife and son, the Prince of Wales, (who later became King Charles II) was wrecked on these rocks on the same day as King Charles I was executed for treason. Of the sixty passengers and crew aboard only one man, a boy and a dog survived.