The Keepers' House

The Keepers' House was rebuilt after the fire of 1890, but exactly inside the original foundations of the older building. It was kept in use until the Light closed in 1914. Originally intended for five men, it was eventually home to only one man, Archibald Stanton, the last keeper of the Light - he turned the key on the building in August 1914 and its decay has been steady since that time. It is now virtually derelict.

The Keepers' House is connected to the main Light, which has three floors (the works and store, living quarters and light platform), by a re-inforced steel keep-door, designed to be bolted fast in severe weather, when the men would leave the Keepers' House and take up residence in the Light itself. The Keepers' House is linked to the Boathouse by means of a tunnel that leads to the inlet where the Boathouse was situated. Men would climb the Light via the vast engineering marvel of the Spiral Stair, which was accessed immediately inside the keep-door
Annie Weekers, 1889
(c) Barnstable Folklore Archive
Amongst the many stories pertaining to the Keepers' House is that of Annie Weekers, wife of Abraham Weekers, the Head Keeper at the time of the 1890 fire. Abraham perished in the fire, and although Annie was safe in Barnstaple at the time of the disaster, she died shortly afterwards of a mysterious illness. It was claimed by subsequent Keepers that they saw her likeness flit from room to room in the Keepers' House, calling,"Abraham! Abraham, where are you, my dear?"

The story of Annie Weekers sustains to this day, and sightseers claim she passes them on the moorside tracks around the Light, hurrying to the Keepers' House with her head down, hidden in a black shawl, weeping.

Local mythology also speaks of the Grey Wanderer, an indistinct apparition said to appear when the mist is thickest at the Point. The name stems from the observation that this grey-faced figure, dressed in what appears to be a white shroud, or cloak of some kind, wanders repeatedly around and around the base of the light, in time - when the lighthouse was active - with the circular sweep of the lamp. Those who claim to have seen the Wanderer, describe a searching action, as if the creature roams a perpetual circle, looking for something on the ground.

In 1990, Dr Hazel Smythe took what she thought was a simple picture of the Lighthouse in fog - when she developed it, she felt sure she had also picked out the Grey Wanderer by the door to the light.

The Grey Wanderer?
by kind permission
H. Smyth