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Lavernock
Lavernock
(Welsh: Larnog) is a hamlet in the Vale of Glamorgan
Vale of Glamorgan
in Wales, lying on the coast 7 miles (11 km) south of Cardiff between Penarth
Penarth
and Sully, and overlooking the Bristol Channel.

Contents

1 Marconi and the first radio messages across open sea 2 The Bays of Lavernock 3 Lavernock
Lavernock
Point

3.1 Geology 3.2 Lavernock
Lavernock
Fort 3.3 Royal Observer Corps 3.4 Nature reserve

4 Monkstone Lighthouse 5 Lavernock
Lavernock
today 6 Local attractions 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Marconi and the first radio messages across open sea[edit]

Guglielmo Marconi

Following overland tests at Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain
during March 1897, on 13 May 1897, the Italian born and recently British based inventor, best known for his development of a radiotelegraph system, Guglielmo Marconi, assisted by George Kemp (who was a Cardiff
Cardiff
based Post Office engineer) transmitted and received the first wireless signals over open sea between Lavernock
Lavernock
Point and Flat Holm
Flat Holm
island. The very first message transmitted in morse code was "ARE YOU READY". This was immediately followed by "CAN YOU HEAR ME" to which the reply was "YES LOUD AND CLEAR". The morse recording slip for the first message is on display in the National Museum of Wales. Following the initial opening exchange there followed detailed technical messages in both directions indicating each end's equipment settings and receiving sound levels. Marconi indicated that he was using a 20-inch (510 mm) spark on his equipment.

Post office engineers with Marconi's equipment

The successful test followed several days of trials and failure while adjustments were made to aerial length. Extensive trials were carried out over the remainder of the week in various weather conditions and with different settings on the equipment at each end. Marconi benefitted from the active encouragement of then Mr. William Preece (later Sir William Preece) who was Engineer-in-Chief of the Post Office and had himself transmitted radio telegraph morse signals across Coniston Water
Coniston Water
eight years earlier. Preece had been previously acted as a consultant to the Bristol Corporation's Electricity Department between 1883 and 1893. The Post Office
Post Office
engineers, including George Kemp who kept a detailed diary of these events, had been experimenting for some months at Lavernock
Lavernock
Point. Kemp recorded the following in his diary of the experiments:

"Mr Marconi's apparatus was set up on the cliff at Lavernock
Lavernock
Point, which is about twenty yards above sea-level. Here we erected a pole, 30 yards (27 m) high, on the top of which was a cylindrical cap of zinc, 2 yards (1.8 m) long and 1-yard (0.91 m) diameter.

Connected with this cap was an insulated copper wire leading to one side of the detector, the other side of which was connected to a wire led down the cliff and dipping into the sea. At Flat Holm
Flat Holm
Mr Preece's apparatus was arranged, the Ruhmkorff coil also giving 20-inch (510 mm) sparks from an eight-cell battery.

On the 10th May experiments on Mr Preece's electro-magnetic transmission method were repeated, and with perfect success.

The next few days were eventful ones in the history of Mr Marconi. On the 11th and 12th his experiments were unsatisfactory — worse still, they were failures — and the fate of his new system trembled in the balance.

An inspiration saved it. On the 13th May the apparatus was carried down to the beach at the foot of the cliff, and connected by another 20 yards (18 m) of wire to the pole above, thus making an aerial height of 50 yards (46 m) in all. Result, The instruments which for two days failed to record anything intelligible, now rang out the signals clear and unmistakable, and all by the addition of a few yards of wire!"

Marconi's new equipment was therefore used in conjunction with that already adopted by the Post Office. The initial tests were so successful over the three and a third mile (6 kilometres) stretch of water that it was quickly decided to relocate the telegraph equipment from Flat Holm
Flat Holm
to Brean Down
Brean Down
Fort, near Weston Super Mare
Weston Super Mare
increasing the distance to nearly ten miles (16 kilometres) from the Lavernock Point transmitter. Following these successful trials, Marconi subsequently vested his new patent rights in his ' Wireless
Wireless
Telegraph and Signal Company', which unfortunately prevented any further co-operation with the Post Office engineers. However George Kemp immediately resigned from his Post Office position and joined Marconi's new company as head of engineering development. In 1948, to mark the 50th anniversary of the experiments, a bronze plaque was unveiled by the Cardiff
Cardiff
Rotary Club
Rotary Club
inside the courtyard of the recently closed church of St.Lawrence, Lavernock, commemorating the historic radio transmissions over nine miles (14 km) of open sea. The small stone hut that Marconi used to contain his experimental radio telegraph equipment still stands on the cliff edge at the end of the lane near Lower Cosmeston farmhouse. The Bays of Lavernock[edit] From the late 1890s until 1968 Lavernock
Lavernock
and the nearby bays of St Mary's Well and Swanbridge
Swanbridge
(with its low tide walk out to Sully Island) were popular and busy holiday locations for regular day trippers from the South Wales
Wales
Valleys, Newport, Cardiff, Penarth
Penarth
and Barry and the beaches were packed with visitors on most weekends and Bank Holidays throughout the summer. The hundreds and sometimes thousands of holidaymakers were served refreshments by an ice cream parlour, two busy cafes, the Golden Hind public house and the three star Lavernock
Lavernock
Bay Hotel. Very few visitors arrived by car until the 1960s with the majority travelling by the half-hourly steam trains that stopped at Lavernock
Lavernock
and Swanbridge
Swanbridge
Halts on the busy Taff Vale Railway Line en route to Barry Island. Lavernock
Lavernock
started settling back to quiet seclusion in the late 1960s when the railway line closed down under the Beeching Axe. Some modern day trippers arrived by car, to the degree that the lanes and the Swanbridge
Swanbridge
car park were often jammed, but visitor numbers had dropped off to such a degree that falling profit margins meant all the food outlets, the Golden Hind pub and eventually even the Bay Hotel closed down and the decline was accelerated even further. Lavernock
Lavernock
Point[edit] Lavernock
Lavernock
Point is a headland on the South Wales
Wales
coast, overlooking the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
with views across to the Somerset
Somerset
Coast. A line drawn between Lavernock
Lavernock
Point and Sand Point, Somerset
Sand Point, Somerset
marks the lower limit of the Severn estuary and the start of the Bristol Channel. Because of the extreme tidal range there are very strong currents or rips close inshore to the point with speeds that exceed 7 knots (13 km/h) for several hours at each tide. Various proposals have been put forward to construct a Severn Barrage for tidal electricity production from Lavernock
Lavernock
Point to Brean Down
Brean Down
in Somerset
Somerset
and the provision remains under discussion by the various agencies. Geology[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2017)

In June 2015 it was announced that the fossil remains of a new species of dinosaur had been discovered on the beach by brothers Nick and Rob Hanigan. The fossilised skeleton belonged to a dog-sized creature, a theropod dinosaur, and was described as a "cousin of the giant tyrannosaurus rex". It is believed to be the earliest specimen of a Jurassic period dinosaur to have walked the earth.[1] Lavernock
Lavernock
Fort[edit] On the point in the late 1860s Lavernock
Lavernock
Fort gun battery was built by the Royal Commission. It was completed in 1870, with three 7" muzzle loading cannons to protect the channel approaches to Cardiff
Cardiff
and Bristol shipyards. Sometime before 1895 the gun battery was reinforced with a fourth cannon, only for all four guns then to be replaced eight years later by two rapid fire six inch (152 mm) former naval guns in 1903. A two unit searchlight battery was added during the Second World War. The World War II
World War II
gun emplacements formed part of the Fixed Defences, Severn Scheme and protected the Atlantic shipping convoy de-grouping zone between Cardiff, Barry and Flat Holm.[2] Today the remaining main section of the gun battery has been listed as an Ancient Monument, which includes the gun emplacements, director-rangefinder observation position, crew and officers quarters. The structure is still commemorated through Lavernock
Lavernock
Point's main access road being named 'Fort Road'. Royal Observer Corps[edit] A few yards away from the historic Marconi hut Penarth's only World War II Royal Observer Corps
Royal Observer Corps
(ROC) Searchlight post stood on the cliff edge with its clear views over the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
and the islands of Steep Holm
Steep Holm
and Flat Holm. The Observer Corps site was established by the Air Ministry on part of the original War Department land connected to the Lavernock
Lavernock
Gun Battery. The volunteer ROC observers spotted many Nazi German
Nazi German
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
raids approaching across the channel and activated the air raid warnings in the town. In early 1962 a protected nuclear fallout shelter (or bunker) was completed at Penarth
Penarth
Clifftop for the ROC (OS Grid Ref: ST 1858 6903), who by the 1960s had switched from above ground aircraft spotting to underground operations with instruments to detect nuclear explosions and warn the public of approaching radioactive fallout in the event of nuclear war. The post members were mobilised later that year and volunteers spent nearly ten days underground during the Cuban Missile Crisis as the government prepared the country for potential outbreak of war. The Penarth
Penarth
cliff top nuclear bunker was closed down and abandoned by the ROC in 1975 after repeated destructive break-ins by local vandals, but the concrete entrance hatch and ventilator tower can still be observed next to the cliff walk near Lower Cosmeston farmhouse. The Royal Observer Corps
Royal Observer Corps
itself was disbanded in December 1995 after the end of the Cold War
Cold War
and as a result of recommendations in the governments Options for Change review of UK defence. Nature reserve[edit] Lavernock
Lavernock
Point is established as a particularly fine nature reserve where wildlife interest is combined with historical interests in a dramatic and picturesque coastal reserve. The unimproved limestone grassland supports varied and colourful plants such as dyer's greenweed, devil's-bit scabious, common spotted orchid and fleabane. Butterflies have been observed and recorded by the reserve's warden for over twenty years and more than twenty five species have been identified. Lavernock
Lavernock
and the nearby Cosmeston Lakes continue to be an important landing point for migrating birds. Many bird migration routes across the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
cross the reserve, and Steep Holm
Steep Holm
and Flat Holm islands act as staging posts. Bird sightings vary through the year, with visiting summer migrants, seabirds off the coast and resident breeding birds. The reserve is managed by the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales who state that their aims are "To create and maintain the ideal balance between grassland, scrubland and woodland at Lavernock
Lavernock
Point Reserve." Monkstone Lighthouse[edit]

Monkstone Lighthouse

Monkstone Light in 2012

Location Lavernock Bristol Channel Wales United Kingdom

Coordinates 51°24′53″N 3°6′0″W / 51.41472°N 3.10000°W / 51.41472; -3.10000

Year first constructed 1839 (first)

Year first lit 1993 (current)

Automated 1993

Construction stone tower first-stage, fiberglass tower second-stage

Tower shape two-stages cylindrical tower with double balcony and small lantern

Markings / pattern black lower stage tower, red upper stage tower

Height 23 m (75 ft)

Focal height 13 m (43 ft)

Light source solar power

Intensity 3,976 candela

Range 12 nmi (22 km)

Characteristic Fl W 5s.

Admiralty number A5428

NGA number 5864

ARLHS number WAL-043

Managing agent

Trinity House[3] [4]

Monkstone Lighthouse
Lighthouse
is located in the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
about 5 kilometres (3 mi) east of Lavernock
Lavernock
Point. A lighthouse here was established in 1839, but the original iron structure was replaced in 1993. The current lighthouse, which is solar powered and operated by Trinity House, comprises a masonry tower strengthened by vertical and horizontal wrought iron bands, with a red glass reinforced plastic tower on top.[5] Lavernock
Lavernock
today[edit]

The geology-rich strata of Lavernock
Lavernock
cliffs

Lavernock
Lavernock
railway station was sold off but long sections of the old railway track bed are still open, from the Fort Road bridge as far as Lower Penarth. It is essentially now a rural greenway and cyclepath. However the track bed in the direction of Sully is either overgrown and impassable and some of it has been sold into private ownership. Lavernock, St Mary's Well Bay and Swanbridge
Swanbridge
(Sully Island) can still be reached along the clifftop path from Penarth. The old cafe car park at Swanbridge
Swanbridge
was developed as part of the newly opened Captain's Wife public house in the mid-1970s. The Marconi Holiday Village near Lavernock
Lavernock
Point, is run by the Lavernock
Lavernock
Point Holiday Park and consists of chalets, fixed caravans and touring berths. The licensed Marconi Club at the holiday village is open to non-residents. The small medieval parish church of St. Lawrence[6] is a Grade II listed building with medieval, possibly 12th-century, origins.[7] It closed in 2008 and the church building is currently being restored and maintained by a volunteer group, consisting of friends of the church. The group has established a charitable trust intended to maintain the structure, allowing continued access to and enjoyment of the historic building. Church services are still currently held along with occasional public open days.[8] Local attractions[edit]

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park
— (water birds, information centre and ice cream kiosk, lakeside and arborial walks, plus the reconstructed 'living museum at Cosmeston Medieval
Medieval
Village) Lavernock
Lavernock
Point Nature Reserve and Gun Battery Ancient Monument St. Mary's Well Bay Coastal
Coastal
and cliff top walks with views of Flat Holm
Flat Holm
and Steep Holm islands Swanbridge
Swanbridge
and Sully Island
Sully Island
— historic haunt of Romans, Vikings, Pirates and smugglers Two miles west of Lavernock, is The Bendricks
The Bendricks
that has the only known upper Triassic
Triassic
dinosaur footprint, possibly by a Tetrasauropus, in Britain

See also[edit]

Wales
Wales
portal Lighthouses portal

List of lighthouses in Wales

References[edit]

^ "Jurassic dinosaur remains on beach - BT". Home.bt.com. Retrieved 10 June 2015.  ^ Atlantic convoy regrouping area Archived 2 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Monkstone The Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2 June 2016 ^ Monkstone Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Trinity House. Retrieved 2 June 2016 ^ "Monkstone Lighthouse". Trinity House. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012.  ^ St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence
Church, Lavernock, south Wales, Marconi and the birth of radio ^ BritishListedBuildings.co.uk ^ Penarth
Penarth
Times

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lavernock.

Old rail route map and photos of current greenway to Penarth Lavernock
Lavernock
and St Mary's Well Bay photos from the 1950s and 1960s Marconi Holiday Village and Lavernock
Lavernock
Point Holiday Park Photograph of the Gun Battery's Eastern Observation Post Trinity House

v t e

Vale of Glamorgan
Vale of Glamorgan
County Borough

Vale of Glamorgan
Vale of Glamorgan
Council

Barry

See: Template:Barry, Vale of Glamorgan

Other towns

Cowbridge Llantwit Major Penarth

Communities

Barry Colwinston Cowbridge
Cowbridge
with Llanblethian Dinas Powys Ewenny Llanmaes Llancarfan Llandough Llandow Llanfair Llangan Llantwit Major Michaelston-le-Pit
Michaelston-le-Pit
and Leckwith Penarth Pendoylan Penllyn Peterston-super-Ely Rhoose St Athan St Bride's Major St Donats St Georges super Ely St Nicholas and Bonvilston Sully and Lavernock Welsh St Donats Wenvoe Wick

Villages

Aberthaw Aberthin Broughton Bonvilston Boverton Boys Village Clawdd Coch Clemenstone Colwinston Corntown Culverhouse Cross Dinas Powys Downs Drope Dyffryn Eglwys Brewis Ewenny Flemingston Fonmon Font-y-Gary Frampton Gileston Goldsland Graig Penllyn Great Hamston Gwern-y-Steeple Kenson Lavernock Lidmore Llampha Llanmaes Llanbethery Llanblethian Llancadle Llancarfan Llandough
Llandough
(near Cowbridge) Llandough
Llandough
(near Penarth) Llandow Llangan Llanmihangel Llansannor Llantrithyd Llantwithyn Llysworney Maendy Marcross Michaelston-le-Pit Middlecross Moulton Newton Northcliff Nurston Ogmore Ogmore-by-Sea Pancross Pendoylan Penmark Pentre Meyrick Peterston-super-Ely Pen-y-Lan Picketston Prisk Rhoose Sigingstone St. Andrews Major St Brides Major Southerndown St Athan St Donat's St Georges-super Ely St Hilary St Mary Church St Mary Hill St. Nicholas St Lythans Sully Sutton The Herberts Tre-Aubrey Tredodridge Treguff Trerhyngyll Twyn-yr-Odyn Walterston Wenvoe Wick Wrinstone Ystradowen

Landmarks and listed buildings

The Bendricks The Bulwarks, Porthkerry The Captain's Wife Cosmeston Medieval
Medieval
Village Cosmeston Lakes Country Park Dimlands Dunraven Castle Egerton Grey Country House Hotel Porthkerry Park St Lythans
St Lythans
Burial Chamber Tinkinswood Welsh Hawking Centre Wenvoe
Wenvoe
Castle

Grade I

Church of St John the Baptist Church of the Holy Cross, Cowbridge Coedarhydyglyn Ewenny
Ewenny
Priory Fonmon
Fonmon
Castle Hensol Castle Ogmore Castle Old Beaupre Castle St Donat's Castle St Illtyd's Church, Llantwit Major

Grade II*

Barry Castle The Blue Anchor Inn Cowbridge
Cowbridge
Grammar School Cowbridge
Cowbridge
Town Hall Dyffryn Gardens Gileston
Gileston
Manor Llandough
Llandough
Castle St Quintins Castle

Geography

Breaksea Point East Aberthaw
Aberthaw
Coast Collugh Beach Sully Island Tresilian Bay Afon Alun Afon Col-huw Cadoxton River Ewenny
Ewenny
River Nant y Stepsau River Kenson River Thaw River Waycock

Economy

Barry Memorial Hall Barry Island Pleasure Park Barry Council Office and Library Barry Dock Offices Aberthaw
Aberthaw
Power Station Aberthaw
Aberthaw
Cement Works Llandow
Llandow
Industrial Estate Wenvoe
Wenvoe
Quarry Wenvoe
Wenvoe
transmitting station

Transport

Cardiff
Cardiff
Airport A48 road A4050 road A4226 road B4265 road Barry Tourist Railway

Stations Barry Barry Docks Barry Island Cadaxton Cogan Dinas Powys Dingle Road Eastbrook Llantwit Major Penarth Rhoose
Rhoose
Cardiff

Sport

Barry Town F.C. Glamorganshire Golf Club Southerndown
Southerndown
Golf Club Wenvoe
Wenvoe
Castle Golf Club

Topics

Schools SSSIs Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings Scheduled Monuments Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs Country houses Museums Books

v t e

Lighthouses of Trinity House

England

Anvil Point Bamburgh Beachy Head Berry Head Bishop Rock Bull Point Coquet Cromer Crow Point Dungeness Eddystone Farne Flamborough Godrevy Guile Point East Hartland Point Heugh Hill Hilbre Island Hurst Point Lizard Longships Longstone Lowestoft Lundy North Lundy South Lynmouth Foreland Nab Tower Needles North Foreland Pendeen Peninnis Portland Bill Round Island Royal Sovereign St Anthony's St Bees St Catherines Southwold Start Point Tater Du Trevose Head Whitby Wolf Rock

Wales

Bardsey Caldey Island Flatholm Holyhead Monkstone Mumbles Nash Point Point Lynas St Anns Head St Tudwal's Skerries Skokholm Smalls South Bishop South Stack Strumble Head Trwyn Du

Channel Islands
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& Gibraltar

Alderney Casquets Europa Poi

.