Gallery Group – Lundy Island

North Light Tramway on Lundy, a rocky outcrop which stands in the Bristol Channel about 10 miles north of the Devon coast. The island is about 3½ miles from north to south, and ½ mile across. Lundy’s northern lighthouse and a pair of rails from the tramway which we believe was used to transport building materials to the site when the lighthouse was being constructed in the late 1890s. Together with a buffer stop in front of the green-capped pillar on the right. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
This view looking south east along the tramway shows the rusty rails to good effect, while revealing how a combination of moss and grass are gradually absorbing the track. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
The tramway runs along a ledge which can be seen clearly here. What looks like a low fence is actually a series of supports carrying the electricity cable which was installed in 1971 to supply power to the lighthouse. Also of note is the substantial stone-faced embankment (in shadow) which can be seen just right of centre. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
At the south east end of the line, the tramway turns left and stops at the head of a steep incline. There is no sign now of any rails on the incline, the tramway was used to transport supplies to the lighthouse keepers: 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
The head of the incline reveals both a deep gouge where a metal rope must have gone down, and also the abrupt end of the rails. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
On the east side of Lundy, granite was extracted from a series of quarries and taken to sea level by an upper and lower tramway, and no fewer than three inclined planes. The Lundy Granite Company was formed in 1863 but never prospered. Work in the quarries had ceased by 1868, and with that operations on the tramways and inclines came to an end as well. Looking across Halfway Wall Bay towards the south, the ledge on which the Lundy Granite Company constructed its upper tramway can be seen clearly. Two quarries can be seen above the line, in shadow. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
In several places along its course, the upper tramway features granite faced embankments on the seaward side. In the distance on the left can be seen the landing beach at the south eastern tip of the island 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
The impressions left by the sleepers are particularly clear in this view approaching the main dressing platform at the south end of the line. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
The main dressing platform at the south end of the line features more stone-faced embankments. There were two sets of rails here and a long stone shed where the granite was finsihed prior to lowering down the main incline (out of frame on the left) to sea level. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
An artist’s impression of the dressing platform when in use in the 1860s. The stone shed used for the dressing work and the top of the incline are both prominent. At the bottom of the photograph, just right of centre, a rectangular piece of finished granite sits on a wagon, waiting to descend to sea level. The wagons had one pair of wheels lower than the other in order to keep them level on the descent. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
The upper tramway on Lundy is much shorter than the lower one, and is not in such good condition. Its ledge can be seen here, beyond the dressing floor in the centre of the photograph. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
The upper tramway looking south. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
Above the time hut, the dressing floor, the dressing platform and the main incline, the quarry company built four terraces of cottages, a hospital, a surgery and forge, all near the north end of the island village. Many of these buildings have been lost, but this is what remains of the three terraced cottages that were built nearest to the dressing platform and incline. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)
The barn opposite the village stores contains this useful map of the quarry complex, although it was tricky to photograph –.you can see on the right where the light from the window opposite was streaming in. At this size, the map is not much use, but click on it for a larger, zoomable version which will help you to see how the various features fit together. 2015 (Jeff Vinter)