The first Needles lighthouse was built circa 1785 on the cliff at the western tip of the island to aid navigation through the Needles Channel, at the western end of the Solent. The light was by oil lamps. Housing was also provided for the Lighthouse Keepers and their families on the cliff top.
Because of the height above the sea, the light was often obscured by sea mist and low cloud.
In 1859, Trinity House built a new lighthouse on the outermost rock of the Needles to replace the original cliff top lighthouse.
Nothing remains of this first lighthouse or keepers’ housing on the cliff top.