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Cow and Chicken 🐄🐥

A cache by Chermione Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 05/12/2018
2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Size: Size:   virtual (virtual)

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Geocache Description:


The Calf of Man is one of my favourite places. It is so peaceful with amazing views and great for wildlife spotting. When I was lucky enough to receive a virtual reward, this seemed the perfect spot. There are four lighthouses here in very close proximity - three on the Calf itself and one just out to sea on Chicken Rock. This geocache was placed to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of the 2 oldest lighthouses being built back in 1818!

This geocache is a terrain 5 simply because you will need to organise a boat to get there. Once on the island, it is easy walking. You can stay a few hours or, if you are feeling adventurous, stay a couple of nights at the Observatory through Manx National Heritage.

At present, boats operate in the summer from Port Erin and Port St Mary, weather and tides permitting. Please check with the Tourist Office for more information.

A Brief History

alternate textLower Stevenson Lighthouse

By 1771, owners of ships were becoming increasingly concerned about the great losses around the Manx coast. After taking 47 years to reach an agreement, two lighthouses were finally built on the Calf of Man by Robert Stevenson & Co. in 1818.

These were placed so that the 2 lights converged at the submerged rock called Chicken Rock. However, the upper lighthouse lies within the mist belt so the Stevenson lighthouses were discontinued in 1875 when a sea tower was constructed on Chicken Rock itself.

In December 1960, an explosion during a chimney clean left the interior of Chicken Rock lighthouse partly destroyed by fire. The 3 keepers retreated up the tower into the light room. Attempts to call for help on the radio failed so rockets were fired.

The 3 men managed to come down the outside of the building by rope where a lifeboat was able to rescue them. In 1962, after extensive repairs, this was converted to an unattended lighthouse but the light was far less intense.

alternate textChicken Rock Lighthouse

alternate textThe Four Lighthouses

A decision was made to build a new lighthouse back on the Calf of Man in between the 2 Stevenson lighthouses and this was opened in 1968. The keepers had more freedom here as they had a garden and even a small golf course! The light was automated in 1995.

In 2005, this new lighthouse was discontinued when a better light was installed in the Chicken Rock lighthouse.


The cliffs around the lighthouses are tall and almost vertical. It is extremely dangerous to go near cliff edges, especially in high winds.

Your Tasks

Please message me your answers to questions 1 and 2. The photo for question 3 should be added to your log.

1. At the entrance to the site of the lower Stevenson lighthouse, you will find an information board. Answer the following questions:

a. What happened one year after the Stevenson lighthouses began operating?

b. What is the name of the lighthouse keeper whose picture is shown?

2. Find the benchmark on the lower Stevenson lighthouse building (this is not on the tower itself). The benchmark looks like an upwards arrow carved into the stone.

a. Which side of the lighthouse building is the benchmark on?

b. Measure how high the base of the benchmark is above the ground.

3. Finally, take a photo of yourself or your GPS showing all 4 lighthouses and post this in your log.

Many thanks to Manx National Heritage for their kind permission to place this geocache.

Virtual Reward - 2017/2018

This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

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