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  • Published: 19 September 2019
  • ISBN: 9781846149382
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $22.99

Seashaken Houses

A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet

The enthralling history of Britain's historic rock lighthouses, exploring the enduring appeal of these magnificent, isolated sentinels, now in paperback

Lighthouses are striking totems of our relationship to the sea. For many, they encapsulate a romantic vision of solitary homes amongst the waves, but their original purpose was much more utilitarian than that. Today we still depend upon their guiding lights for the safe passage of ships. Nowhere is this truer than in the rock lighthouses of Great Britain and Ireland which form a ring of twenty towers built between 1811 and 1904, so-called because they were constructed on desolate rock formations in the middle of the sea, and made of granite to withstand the power of its waves.
Seashaken Houses is a lyrical exploration of these singular towers, the people who risked their lives building and rebuilding them, those that inhabited their circular rooms, and the ways in which we value emblems of our history in a changing world.

  • Published: 19 September 2019
  • ISBN: 9781846149382
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $22.99

Also by Tom Nancollas

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Praise for Seashaken Houses

With compelling narrative and fascinating historical anecdotes, Tom shines a spotlight on these little known but spectacular structures

Roma Agrawal

A deeply personal account, based on meticulous research - and I found it difficult to put down. Above all else, the author's affection and enthusiasm shine forth vividly

Francis Pryor

Nancollas is intrepid and persistent. His book is a first-hand travel guide to seven places you almost certainly have no chance of ever visiting.

Bella Bathurst, Spectator

Impassioned ... much more than a geeky history, it also helps us think anew about buildings, about heritage, and even about family

The Bookseller, Editor's Choice

Eloquent and well researched ... Lighthouses will never look the same again

BBC CountryFile Magazine

Meticulously-researched and fascinating ... Tom's love for structure and heritage, for intricate detailing and finishes, shines through

Irish Times

Intensely interesting

Engineering & Technology Magazine

A thrilling celebration...These monumental structures have saved countless lives and survived unimaginable natural forces, as well as the currents of political and governmental change. Their stories are more interesting than even I could have imagined

Rebecca Armstrong, i newspaper

A book to make you feel safe on a cold winter 's night. Pour yourself a glass of something warming, sit back and feel thankful you're not in one of these bizarre structures

Daily Mail

A watchful and meticulous writer...an expert on the construction and weathering of these unique buildings


This book is a hymn to the almost superhuman ingenuity, expertise and labour of the men who worked to made the wild seas safer


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