The concept of the rotating gates was devised by (Reginald) Charles Draper. In 1969, from his parents’ house in Pellatt Grove, Wood Green, London, he constructed a working model. The novel rotating cylinders were based on the design of the taps on his gas cooker.
The lighthouse was originally South Foreland Upper Lighthouse, one of a pair. The second lighthouse, South Foreland Lower Lighthouse was built at the same time further down the cliff, to the east, where it still stands; decommissioned in 1904.