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15/09/2023 01:31 PM

Its red and white stripes have been a welcome sight for mariners since 1858, however Sydney Harbour’s iconic Hornby Lighthouse at South Head, is about to get a makeover that will see it shine its light well into the future.

Port Authority NSW CEO, Captain Philip Holliday said meticulous planning has gone into ensuring the works on the State Heritage Listed Hornby Lighthouse will guarantee both structural integrity and the preservation of the lighthouse’s State significant heritage values.

“Port Authority of New South Wales will commence the comprehensive restoration works on Monday 18 September which will include desalination of the sandstone blocks to repainting of the historical red and white stripes. The internal timber floors and structural elements will also be restored, along with the roof and flooring, windows and doors.

“Perhaps of most interest to onlookers are works that will see the external sandstone façade restored. This will involve careful stripping back of many layers of paint, preservation of the original paint layer and repainting in a way that will help protect the sandstone base into the future.

“At 165 years old, Hornby Lighthouse is an irreplaceable piece of our maritime history.

“Well before the Harbour Bridge and Opera House became harbour landmarks, and the Sydney Swans claimed the red and white, Hornby Lighthouse was a welcoming and warning beacon for all vessels and visitors to our shores.

“In addition to its emotive origin story, it was the third lighthouse to be built in NSW, designed by NSW Colonial Architect Alexander Dawson.”

Standing atop South Head, the State Heritage Listed lighthouse was erected after the devastating shipwrecks of the Dunbar and Catherine Adamson, both in 1857 with the loss of 142 lives.

Captain Holliday said that Port Authority takes great pride in preserving our heritage to the highest standards for the future generations to come.

“As a mariner myself, it’s wonderful to see the careful restoration of such a significant maritime building,” he said.

As a working lighthouse, the navigation light will remain operational for the duration of the restoration works to protect mariners from the perilous coastline that initially triggered the lighthouse’s construction.

The restoration works are scheduled to be completed within 12 months.


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