The only lighthouse on the Turks and Caicos Islands was built in the 1850s to help ships navigate the treacherous reef off the north end of Grand Turk. It was one of the first prefabricated cast-iron lighthouses of its time and originally burned whale oil lamps. (The lighthouse has been upgraded over the years with more modern lights.) The Fresnel lens, installed in 1943, is now on display at the Turks and Caicos National Museum. The tower itself is 60 feet tall and, in its setting, stands 108 feet above sea level. Tours of the island often stop at the lighthouse. Visitors can explore the grounds and the gift shop in the lightkeeper’s house; however, the lighthouse tower is not open to the public.

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Grand Turk Lighthouse

Protected by the National Trust, this structure on the island’s northern side was actually imported. In 1852, pieces of the 18-meter-tall (60-foot-tall) lighthouse were shipped from the United Kingdom, where they were assembled on its current site. Until its electrification in 1972, the light was powered by kerosene; its storage house is adjacent to the tower, as is the keeper’s home. The entirety of the site is a pretty perch from which to gaze upon the ocean and, in season, spot whales.

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