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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January, 2005, 06:37 GMT
Woolf lighthouse switch-off fears
Virginia Woolf
The view of the Godrevy lighthouse inspired Virginia Woolf's novel
A historic lighthouse which inspired novelist Virginia Woolf to write her most famous work may be switched off.

Her novel To The Lighthouse drew on memories of childhood holidays at St Ives in Cornwall and the view of Godrevy Island and its beacon.

Lighthouse authority Trinity House plans to switch off the light by 2010.

But Trinity spokeswoman Emma Skingsley said that if the switch-off took place, the Grade Two listed lighthouse would remain intact.

Decision overturned

"We are looking at current and future predicted needs of mariners," she said.

"Godrevy is one of the ones that is proposed to be discontinued, but if there is feedback saying we need the lighthouse, that will be taken into account."

The octagonal white tower at Godrevy marks a reef called the Stones and has been in service since 1859. It was automated in 1939.

Earlier this week, a decision by Penwith District councillors to reject plans for 17 flats next to Talland House in St Ives where Woolf spent her summers as a child was overturned.

Members of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain had opposed the 2m apartment block on a car park that was once the orchard of Talland House.

But planning inspectors have ruled the council was wrong to refuse planning permission, and building work could start this summer.

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