Les Hanois Lighthouse
Simon Langlois has a particular fascination with Les Hanois lighthouse — in large part because his failing eyesight means that while he’s heard much talk of it, he’s seen nothing more than its regular night-time flashes. In book 1, Dead in the Water, he urges Ollie to take the Huffin’ Puffin out on a trip around the island — a trip that could involve a trip to see the lighthouse up close which, if they were ever to undertake it, would be very dangerous indeed.
Remus Carey knows better than to get close to the rocks surrounding the lighthouse, but he does use it as a navigational point when, ‘at last he rounded the headland and lined up the prow with the bulb of the lighthouse. The course he had chosen would keep him clear of the rocks at Pezeries until he turned at the back of the fort.’
Les Hanois stands a mile off Guernsey’s south west coast where it can be seen clearly from the headland at Pleinmont. It was built by and is maintained by Trinity House, the lighthouse authority for England, Wales and the Channel Islands, which also built some cottages at the back of Portelet. These are no longer required to house active staff since the lighthouse was automated in 1996.
Constructed between 1860 and 1862 to a design by James Douglass by Cornish stonemasons (from Cornish granite) it became the template on which all subsequent lighthouses were based on account of having its blocks dovetailed into one another both horizontally and vertically for greater strength.
The light itself, which is solar powered, reaches 20 miles out to sea from the Les Hanois reef on which the lighthouse is built (and from which it takes its name). It flashes twice every 13 seconds.