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Latest update 31.05.2014 03:33

A two-tonne lighthouse optic has been lifted five miles over land and sea by a specialist team to help shine a light on one of Wales’s most traditional and remote locations. 

The Bardsey Island optic was flown by helicopter to its new home in Porth y Swnt (Welsh for 'gateway to the sound') – our new Coastal Tourism Centre for Excellence in Aberdaron, on Llyn. Once installed it will take the spotlight as the main installation for the public to enjoy.

The historic light has guided countless vessels and passengers safety through St George’s Channel and the Irish Sea from Bardsey Island, famed for its pilgrimages and treacherous sea crossings, over to the mainland.

For more than 100 years the majestic optic sat on top of the 99ft tall lighthouse; however it needed to be replaced for a higher-tech LED solar energy version, so we stepped in to help find the light a new home.

Visitors to our centre will be able to see the striking structure up close at Porth y Swnt where it plays an important part in showing the Llyn Peninsula in a new and different light.

Exciting addition

Andy Godber, our Llyn operations manager, said: ‘This is a really exciting addition to what has been a very exciting project. We’re really thrilled to be looking after the optic and we believe it will complete the centre and really help visitors to the area to see Llyn in all its beauty and in a wonderful light.

‘When the optic is reassembled in all its glory, it will play an integral part in interpreting this unique peninsula, and in so doing will inspire visitors to Porth y Swnt to explore the rest of Llyn’s beautiful and historic environment.’

An expert team from Trinity House painstakingly disassembled the optic into 31 pieces and lowered it down the outside of the lighthouse, before it was packaged ready for its flight by helicopter to Aberdaron.

As part of the installation of the optic at Porth y Swnt, the centre will be closed from  2 to 4 June followed by a period of restricted access. The shop will remain open as usual.

Porth y Swnt Coastal Tourism Centre of Excellence on Llyn Peninsula is a first of its kind in Wales.

Located in the heart of Aberdaron, a traditional fishing village, visitors can use Porth y Swnt as a starting point to equip them with the knowledge to explore Llyn Peninsula’s traditional Welsh way of life that is inextricably entwined with the sea, and with the Bardsey Island Lighthouse optic - soon to become the centre's star attraction.

Porth y Swnt has been funded via the Coastal Tourism Project led by Visit Wales, the tourism department within the Welsh Government, and supported through the European Regional Development Fund.

  • If you are planning a visit, please remember Porth y Swnt centre will be closed from 2 to 4 June, followed by a period of restricted access due to the installation of the Bardsey Island Lighthouse optic. The shop will remain open as usual. Visitors can find out more by visiting our Porth y Swnt/Henfaes web page