4.1 Fabric register 

The cultural significance of the lighthouse resides in its fabric, and also in its intangible aspects, such as the meanings people ascribe to it, and the connections to other places and things. The survival of its cultural value depends on a well-informed understanding of what is significant, and on clear thinking about the consequences of change. The Burra Charter sets out good practice for conserving cultural significance.

Below, each part of the lighthouse is listed and the description, condition and significance of each part is discussed. Criterion listed under ‘Heritage Significance’ refer to the criterion satisfied within the specific Commonwealth heritage listing (see ‘Section 5.1’).

Lighthouse feature: Lantern roof

Lantern roof images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Conical roof of copper sheets lapped and bolted. Built with single skin (no internal lining). Supported on circular ring of cast iron segments bolted together.

  • Ventilator – ball shaped vent, with circular internal insect mesh.
  • Lightning conductor – single spike with trident on top of vent.
  • Gutter – none.
Finish painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance high
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service, prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The lantern roof forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The lantern roof forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature:  Lantern glazing

Lantern glazing images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Cylindrical in form.

  • Panes – curved, trapezoidal glass panes, single tier. Landward sector masked by sheet of curved material fitted inside the astragals.
  • Astragals – cast iron, bolted to roof support ring at top and to lantern base at bottom.
Finish glass: clear
other parts: painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance high
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service, reglaze as necessary, prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The lantern glazing forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The lantern glazing forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature: Lantern base

Lantern base images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Chance Bros, cylindrical in form. Curved panels of cast iron bolted together with flanged joints. No internal lining (removed).

  • Vents – cast iron cowls outside, one in each panel. Round tube protruding inside from each vent, covered with stainless mesh and half covered with metal plate.
  • Door – Replica Chance Bros iron door with copper alloy hinges and thumbscrew fasteners.
Finish painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance high
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service, prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The lantern base forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The lantern base forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature: Lantern floor

Lantern floor images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Concrete slab, continuous with balcony floor and cornice.

Finish painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance high
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service, prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

 
Heritage significance: High

The lantern floor forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The lantern floor forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature: Lens assembly

Lens assembly images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

250mm focal radius fixed (non-rotating) lens assembly of glass and gunmetal.

Finish painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance high
Integrity high
Maintenance clean at regular intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The lens assembly forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a).

The lens assembly forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature: Light source

Light source image
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Sealite SL-LED-216-W.

Condition sound
Significance low
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service
Rectification works none

 The light source is of low significance. 

Lighthouse feature: Pedestal

Pedestal images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Cast iron post with fixed circular table on top. Flasher and other control gear mounted in metal box attached to pedestal.

Finish painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance pedestal and table: high
other parts: low
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service, prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The pedestal forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The pedestal forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature: Balcony floor

Balcony floor images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Recent stainless steel structure with FRP mesh c2006 fixed over 1908 concrete slab, which is continuous with lantern floor and coved cornice and string course.

Finish stainless steel: bare metal, FRP coloured mesh 
membrane painted over concrete slab.
Condition intact and sound
Significance original concrete floor: high
stainless steel and FRP: low
Integrity low
Maintenance stainless steel and FRP materials require little maintenance
maintain membrane over original balcony slab
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The concrete component of the balcony floor is an original part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The concrete component of the balcony floor is an original part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature: Balcony balustrade

Balcony balustrade images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Stainless steel circular hollow section stanchions, handrails and knee-rails; stainless steel kick-plate.

Finish bare metal
Condition intact and sound
Significance low
Integrity low
Maintenance keep in service, monitor condition
Rectification works none

 Heritage significance: Low

The recent stainless steel balustrades are of low significance.

Lighthouse feature: Walls

Walls images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

1908 small conical tower of stone rubble masonry roughly rendered inside and out, with plinth at the bottom. Cast iron vents fitted around the walls, below the cornice.

  • Vents – original vents were corroded beyond economical repair. Original covers were replaced with FRP covers, a non-corrosive substitute 
Finish painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance vent covers: low
other features: high
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service, prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The walls are an original part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The walls are an original part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f). 

Lighthouse feature: External ladder

External ladder images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Fixed ladder from ground to balcony. Stainless steel stiles and FRP treads. Stainless steel brackets fixing the ladder to the ground and to the balcony. (This stainless steel ladder replaces an earlier timber ladder, which was a replacement for the original iron ladder shown on the 1908 drawings.)

Finish bare metal
Condition intact and sound
Significance low
Integrity low
Maintenance keep in service, monitor condition
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: Low

The recent stainless steel external ladder is of low significance.

Lighthouse feature: Door

Door image
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Early timber framed and sheeted door hung in timber frame on butt hinges. Recent stainless steel louvre vent panel fitted between mid-rail and bottom rail. Secured with pad bolt and CLS padlock.

Finish louvres: bare stainless steel
other parts: unpainted 
Condition intact and sound
Significance door: high
louvre: low
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service, prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The door forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The door forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature: Ground floor

Ground floor image
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Concrete slab on ground.

Finish painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance high
Integrity high
Maintenance prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: High

The ground floor is an original part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The ground floor is an original part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f). 

Lighthouse feature: Equipment 

Equipment images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Equipment installed inside the tower at ground floor level: four batteries on galvanised steel rack; battery charger; cabling; control gear.

Condition sound
Significance low
Integrity high
Maintenance none
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: Low

The equipment is of low significance.

Lighthouse feature: Apron paving

Apron paving images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

Concrete paving around the base of the tower, to the full extent of the fenced area.

Finish bare concrete
Condition intact and sound
Significance moderate
Integrity high
Maintenance keep in service, carry out minor repairs as required
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: Moderate 

The modified paving forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The modified paving forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

Lighthouse feature: Fence 

Fence images
(© AMSA)
Description and condition

1908 timber framed fence, extensively rebuilt. Several original posts remain, with evidence of the original arris-cut rails housed into the posts. Most of the posts and all of the rails, are later replacements. The original corrugated iron sheeting was replaced with a ‘super six’ corrugated asbestos-cement. The corrugated asbestos–cement sheet has recently been replaced with a fibre-cement flat sheeting. Timber-framed gate, sheeted with fibre-cement sheet. Storm damaged section of fence on north western side completely replaced in 2016.

Finish painted
Condition intact and sound
Significance moderate
Integrity low
Maintenance keep in service, prepare and repaint at normal intervals
Rectification works none

Heritage significance: Moderate

The modified fence forms part of a lighthouse, which was integral to South Australia’s growth of navigational assistance during the early twentieth century (criterion a). 

The modified fence forms part of one of South Australia’s earliest unattended lighthouses (criterion f).

4.2 Related object and associated AMSA artefacts

There are currently no AMSA artefacts stored at Cape St Albans Lighthouse.

4.3 Comparative analysis

Cape St Albans Lighthouse was one of three unattended lights built along the South Australian coast at the turn of the twentieth century. The other two were the Eastern Shoal Light in Spencer Gulf in 1902, and Cape Donnington Light in 1905. The three lighthouses varied in design, but were fitted with similar technologies in order to allow for automatic operation.33


Footnotes

33 ‘Cape St. Albans Lighthouse’, Lighthouses of Australia Inc.