Coastal Erosion

   The Future



Moving an 850 ton lighthouse

In 1999 the Belle Toute Lighthouse was just a few metres from the edge. After two years of talks and planning between the owners and Abbey Pynford the day came to move it 17 metres back from the edge of the eroding cliff.

On 17th March 1999 the move began.

After digging down around the original foundations runners were fitted underneath. It was then pushed back using hydraulic jacks 56ft to its current resting position.

Belle Toute was saved.... but for how long....

Belle Toute during the move of the lighthouse

Belle Toute during the time of the move film crews

Belle Toute during the time of the move on runners

We are going to improve and enhance this page and would like to know if anyone has any other photos or footage of moving Belle Toute that we could show (duly credited of course) here on our popular website. Please contact us for more information.


Fascinating fact

Pharology (named after Pharos, the famed lighthouse of Alexandria) is the study of lighthouses and signal lights. Those who study lighthouses are known as pharologists

Origins of Belle Toute

Would you like to know where the name Belle Toute comes from.

An eroding coastline

Did you know that the fragile chalk cliffs are eroding at a average rate of 60 centimetres per year!

Pictures and Photos

Rob Wassell is a keen photographer and has also been collecting old pictures and postcards of Belle Toute and Beachy Head.


Belle Toute Lighthouse Tower

The Belle Toute Lighthouse Preservation Society      All information copyright of their respective owners      Website by RAW-Systems