The High Lighthouse is an imposing landmark situated at the entrance to the old town of Harwich. The building is grade 1 listed as an ancient monument and was built in 1818 to serve as one of two leading lights for the port. The 90ft nine sided tower was built near to the site of the earlier light situated over the town gate, by Alexander under the supervision of the famous English engineer John Rennie, later responsible for London Bridge.
Both lighthouses were sold by General Rebow to Trinity House who administered them until 1863 when they became redundant due to the shifting in direction of the harbour channel. The lighthouses were purchased in 1909 by Harwich Borough Council, who partially restored the High lighthouse in 1974 as their contribution to Architectural Heritage year.
The Low Lighthouse
The low lighthouse was taken over by the Harwich society and opened as a maritime museum in 1980. The high lighthouse had stood empty for some time until in March 1991 the lease of the building was made available by Tendring District Council, who were anxious to see the building utilized.
The lease was taken up by the National Vintage Wireless and Television
Museum Trust. The Trust had been seeking a suitable premises to house its unique collection for many years and was delighted to be able to relocate to the Tendring area, due to the significant connection with the history of broadcasting. Marconi's first wireless school was at nearby Frinton on sea and prior to his first successful transmission across the Atlantic, experimental broadcasts took place from a site set up at Dovercourt, next to the Cliff Hotel.