Heritage lighthouse surveyThe Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) sought advice on the condition and maintenance requirements of 58 lighthouses on the Commonwealth Heritage List as part of a service and maintenance contract with Australian Maritime Systems Ltd (AMS). AMS engaged me to inspect the lighthouses and prepare reports, in collaboration with AMS staff.
The oldest lighthouse in the survey was Swan Island in Tasmania (built 1845) and the youngest was the 1984 tower at Guilderton, WA. They are spread around Australia—north to Booby Island, east to Cape Byron, south to Tasman Island, west to Cape Inscription. They are all marked on this Google map.
The lighthouses included a variety of structural types—brick, stone and concrete masonry towers, cast and wrought iron structures, and composite timber and iron towers.
Some of the conservation issues were challenging, because of the age and significance of the structures, and their constant exposure to wind, water, and salt. As a group they were impressive in the quality of their initial design and construction. Most of them demonstrated a continuity of maintenance and adaptation to accommodate changes in the technology of navigation aids.
I communicated the results of the survey in a set of electronic hypertext reports designed for on-screen reading and integration with the maintenance management software used by AMSA and AMS. There was a report on each of the 58 sites, plus a summary report and a glossary. The reports were delivered as Acrobat (pdf) documents with high resolution digital images.