Richards Lighthouse is found at Jau-Dignac-et-Loirac. It is no longer active, just as all the other lighthouses in the Gironde.
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Collection: Lighthouses of Aquitaine
Made of : Resin
Size: 13.0 x 10.0 x 10.0 cm
- Locatoin : Jau-Dignac-et-Loirac, Gironde
- Construction : 1843 - 1870
- Height : 18 m
- Light : Out
The Richard Light can be found at Jau-Dignac-et-Loirac. Like all the lighthouses in the approaches to the Gironde estuary, it is no longer active.
It is a cylindrical lighthouse, not high enough despite its 18 meters, built in 1843. Its spiral staircase has 63 stone steps leading up to a balcony. In1870 a further cast iron lighthouse reaching 30m in height with a stronger lamp was built. Its construction was attributed to Gustave Eiffel. This lighthouse was in service up until 1953 and then demolished.
In the Jau-Dignac and Loirac districts, along side the Dutch style reclaimed stretch, worked in 17th Century on the left bank a "tree" acts as a navigation marker on Europe's broadest Gironde estuary : The Tree of Richard. At the beginning of the 19th century, the tree was hit by storm. A stone lighthouse was built in 1843 reaching 18m. The place became a popular meeting place and community festivities were organised. In 1870, a second lighthouse was built, 31m high and entirely built of metal. The lighthouse was switched off in 1953, and the site sold to a private business. The place has been left abandonned and much of the structure dismantled to recuperate the scrap iron.
Sold privately in 1956, it remained abandonned until 1982. A youth group from Jau-Dignac-et-Loirac, with the local village Mayor who decided to tidy up the site. Work began in 1992 to redevelop the site into a cultural and tourism initiative. The community initiative "Community Association of Richard's Lighthouse" was founded in 1993 and is still evolving today. A group of volunteers now coordinate and manage the cultural heritage site themselves. The most beautiful panorama may be enjoyed from Richards lighthouse out over the Gironde estuary, along the charente coast and over the "polders de Hollande". It is currently home to the Oyster Farming and Fishing culture Museum as well as an exhibition of lighthouses and navigational marker buoys.
Since september 2008, a jetty (carrelet) has been installed further enriching the site. This is available depending on the tide. It offers an amazing panoramic view over the Gironde and offers another way to discover the beauty of the area. There is also a renovated pilot boat on display.
On April 23rd 2009, the old glass section from the top of the tower was removed and replaced with a dome identical to the original when the light was first installed. Made of fibreglass it was produced by the Lycée de la Mer at Gujan-Mestras (Gironde).
Now a public nature and leisure space it can be accessed by foot, bike, horseback or car along the D2 from Port de Richard to the south and from Saint-Vivien-de-Médoc to the north.