Eddystone Rock is a treacherous series of offshore shoals and breaching rocks that regularly claimed the lives of sailors seeking port in the English town of Plymouth. Henry Winstanley’s ambition to build an offshore lighthouse, realised in 1698, had initially been met with both derision and admiration. The concept of such a construction was so outlandish the story reached far beyond England’s South Coast. During the complicated build process Winstanley was kidnapped from Eddystone Rocks by a French privateer and transported to the court of King Louis XIV, a great prize during a period of war. The King was outraged and demanded the architect be safely returned to continue his important work. “We’re at war with England,” scolded the King, “not humanity.” The monarch knew that, should the architect succeed in his endeavour, the lighthouse would save not just English sailors, but Frenchmen too. Winstanley succeeded, but in 1703, during what became known as the Great Storm, disappeared along with his lighthouse while making vital repairs, swept away by gale-force winds and high seas his weather-beaten construction could no longer withstand. A new structure was erected shortly after and, in the 300 years since, a lighthouse has stood, almost permanently, on Eddystone Rocks. The structure, in its various forms, is a central thread in Plymouth’s rich maritime history.