Godrevy Lighthouse was built in 1858–1859. The Stones reef had always been a hazard to shipping and a lighthouse had been considered many times prior to 1858 but nothing came of plans until the SS Nile was wrecked in November 1854 with the loss of all on board. The lighthouse is a white octagonal tower, 86 feet (26 m) high and made of rubble-stone and mortar. The original light was a revolving white one, with a fixed red light below the main light, which could be seen over a 45-degree arc when a ship was in danger of the reef. This was later replaced by a red sector on the main light itself.
Originally, the light was manned by three men at a time, but in 1939 the lighthouse was automated. The light flashes white/red every 10 seconds, with the red sector only being visible in the arc of danger from the reef. The range of the light is around 12 miles (19 km).  Godrevy Light by Charles Thomas and Jessica Mann describes the history of this lighthouse and shows the many works of art it inspired.
The lighthouse is said to have inspired Virginia Woolf to write To the Lighthouse – though in the book, she locates the lighthouse in the Hebrides. The lighthouse’s visitor book, containing the signature of Virginia Stephen (Woolf), is to go on sale at Bonhams on 22 November 2011. She first visited on 12 September 1892. Pre–Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt also signed the book on the same day.
Godrevy stands guard over The Stones, a reef stretching offshore of Cornwall for one and a half miles. The Stones had wrecked The Nile, a passenger steamer, in December 1854, with the loss of all hands. After much debate as to whether to build a lighthouse on the reef or on the island, work started on construction of a light on the island in 1858, with the light first operating in March 1859. The lighthouse is a white octagonal tower, 86 feet high, made of rubble stone, bedded in mortar. The original light was a revolving white one, with a fixed red below the main light, which could be seen over a 44 degree arc when a ship was in danger of the reef.
The red sector is now covered by a red sector in the main light itself. In addition a fog bell sounds every five seconds At first the light was manned by two men at a time, but problems with the relief, led to this being increased to 3 in 1925, but by 1934 the lighthouse was made automatic and ceased to be manned and is now maintained by helicopter visits The fog signal has now been discontinued, and the light flashes white/red every 10 seconds, with the red sector only being visible in the arc of danger from the reef. The range of the light is 12 miles