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The edge of the cliff shake and crumble Godley head damage
2013/07/11 14:33
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Following an unsuccessful attempt to shift the historic lighthouse last week, the Department of Conservation has on Thursday been able to use professional abseilers and a helicopter to lift the lighthouse off the cliff Office Design.


The lighthouse's copper dome, which weighs about a tonne, was lifted off first, leaving the metal house, which weights about 900kg, Residence Design to be removed separately.


The lighthouse's lenses were boxed up before they too were transported off the cliff by helicopter, a DOC spokeswoman told NZ Newswire Office Design.


The rescue effort took DOC about two hours, the spokeswoman said.


Project manager Grant Campbell earlier said the operation required some fairly creative thinking.


"This beautiful old structure had an extremely lucky escape and was left clinging to the cliff by its toenails after the February and June earthquakes in 2011," he said.


Due to its strategic vantage point, Godley Head was taken over in 1851 as a defence reserve.


The original Godley Head lighthouse was built from locally quarried stone and was first lit in 1865.


During World War II, fortifications were built around the lighthouse and a battery of six-inch guns was installed.


Because the lighthouse was in the direct line of fire of the guns, the old tower and lighthouse keepers' cottage were demolished and the lighthouse was moved further down the cliff face.


The lighthouse was automated in 1976 and handed over to the Lyttelton Harbour Board. After it was damaged in the earthquakes, the buildings were gifted to DOC.
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