Norway’s first cast-iron light tower.
Eigersund local district.
The tower on Eigeroy is Norway’s first cast-iron light tower. It was prefabricated at Baerums Verk, near Oslo, and Horten Mekaniske Vaerksted, and transported to Eigeroy where it was bolted together in the mid-1800s.. A lighthouse apparatus of the first order, from Lepaute in Paris, was installed.
A house for the lighthouse keeper, an outbuilding, a boat house and a quay were also bullt at this time. The light was first lit on 16 November 1854. Different manning schemes were used until 1989, when the lighthouse was automated. No one has lived there since then. In 1998 the lighthouse became protected under the Norwegian cultural heritage act. This protection includes buildings, roads and an area surrounding the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is currently owned and run by the National Coastal Administration, while the rest of the Station belongs to the municipality of Eigersund.
Eigeroy light is a rather lonely gateway to Jaeren. It defies all physics, tightly grasping the rock at the very edge of the little island. The ligh thouse builders who put up the tower did a thorough job. Looking at the tower sides you can see how the cast-iron plates were numbered to make sure they were assembled in the right order.
The bottom steps into the tower pass through the foundation wall. Higher up you seem to be ascending inside a brick tower, since nor mally you would expect to see nuts and bolts on a cast-iron wall. But the Eigeroy light was given a protective inner sheath of stone. Lieutenant Nielsen who designed the tower was not sure whether it could withstand the full force of the open sea. In fact no sheathing was needed, and the iron tower proved itself plenty strong enough. Inside the Eigeroy tower you can still see the old keepers‘ tools of the trade. Successive generations of lighthouse technology stand intact. The huge foghorn, the compressed air tanks, the weight cabinet for the turning gear, and the engine room.
Eigeroy bird Station
Eigeroy bird Station was set up near the lighthouse in 1991, on the initiative of the local division of the Norwegian Ornithological Society, which is now using the lighthouse station’s workshop for this
purpose. The Station registers every bird that is seen on the island throughout the year.
The most important work done here is the registration of direct migratory birds in the periods March to May and August to October. Birds like northern gannets, divers, ducks, geese, swans, auks, skua, gulls and wading birds offen pass close to the shore. When the weather and manning Situation allows, there is also ringing of smaller birds with the help of a net. A Special effort has been made to ring the British storm-petrel, a little bird that only comes close to the shore at night. These birds are caught by emitting a Special sound towards the sea on dark August nights.
Some of the rarer bird species in Norway that have been registered here are the little egret, ruddy shelduck, Caspian fern, Radde’s warbler, lanceo-lated warbler, Bonelli’s warbler, firecrest and the red-breasted flycatcher.
Source: Information board on site