Roman Rock

Name Roman Rock
Structure Circular cast iron tower painted white
Other Features Only rock lighthouse on the South African coast
Date Installed 16 September 1861
Description Probably one of the most interesting lighthouses in Southern Africa is Roman Rock, which is situated in False Bay at the entrance to the historical naval harbour of Simons Town. But what makes this lighthouse so interesting is the fact that it is the only lighthouse on our coast to have been erected on a single rock, which is exposed at low water, while at high tide is covered completely, making for very primitive living conditions to any keeper.
The lighthouse owes its existence to a Joseph Nourse Commodore, Royal Navy, Simons Town who when writing to the Secretary General of the Admiralty in London, stressed the importance of the safety of His Majestys ships coming into the anchor at Simons Bay at night. But the proposed site for this lighthouse was not always to be Roman Rock, and from 1823 to 1853, three or four other possible sites were suggested. But in the end it was Roman Rock who won, despite the great costs of erecting it on this site.
It took four years to complete the installation of the prefabricated cast iron tower, which was sent out from England. But on the 16 September 1861 the Roman Rock lighthouse shone its first light, and still remains today having defied the South-East gales and surging seas which have submerged it every summer for 142 years. In 1919, a fully automatic lighting system was installed and since then no lightkeepers have been stationed at this watery and inhospitable site which keeps watch over the waters of False Bay, guiding home the Naval ships to their harbour.

Light Type Flashing acetylene gas
Light Character One flash every six seconds
Light Range 13 sea miles
Light Power 5 000 CD
Height of focal Plane 17 metres above high water

Position 34 21 52.92 South, 18 27 38.94 East