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South Stack (Ynys Lawd) is a small rocky island, separated from Holy Island by a narrow deep water channel. Given its relationship to Ireland, this coastline has experienced busy shipping movements for centuries. Known for the potential wildness of the sea and the
thickness of fog, a great many ships have been wreckedThe first formal requests for a lighthouse were made in 1645 but, because of the difficulty and cost of construction, the lighthouse was completed only in 1809. Construction material had to be winched up the cliff from boats or drawn across the channel in baskets.

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