The Cape St. Francis Lighthouse, also known as Seal Point Lighthouse, is a beautiful white Building that forms the focal point of Cape St Francis, in the Eastern Cape. Named after St. Francis, who is the Patron Saint of Ecology, this Architectural marvel was completed in 1878, and built to ward off ships from the dangerous reefs that stretch out more than a Kilometre out to Sea. On July 4th 1878, the lamp of Cape St. Francis Lighthouse was lit for the first time. Since that day it has sent forth its beam of light to guide mariners along a stretch of Coast that has claimed numerous Shipwrecks! According to a report of the; 'Coast Lighthouse Commission' dated 1 December 1871, Captain Skead accompanied by Captain Perry R.N. and Lieut. Taylor R.N. set out from Port Elizabeth on 21 November 1871 to inspect Cape St. Francis and vicinity for the purpose of selecting a Site for the erection of a Lighthouse. Travelling in a "hired van" the party stopped for the night at Van Stadens and arrived at Humansdorp on the 23rd where they were met by the Civil Commissioner, who assisted them to reach the Beach near Cape St. Francis. An ox-wagon loaded with tents and camp gear was sent ahead. Construction of the Lighthouse commenced on 17 March 1876 when Joseph Flack, a clerk of works employed in the Public Works Department of the Cape Colonial Government, set out the works. He was not destined to see the Lighthouse completed though! Flack died at Seal Point on 14 November 1876 and he is buried in the Cemetery in Humansdorp. He who also partook in the building of many of the structures on Robben Island!
Although Cape St. Francis Lighthouse is only 30 km from Humansdorp it was, until recently, the most isolated attended Station situated on the Mainland. Not so long ago the 5 km journey from Goedgeloof on the Krom River to Seal Point over the sand dunes and along the Beach had to be done on horseback and by ox-wagon and took 3 Hours.
Only in 1957 was the ox-wagon replaced by a four-wheel drive vehicle which followed the same route. Although it was quicker by jeep, the trip on the ox-wagon was more comfortable, several of the light keepers owned horses. They were able to travel by car as far as Mostert's Farm, on Goedgeloof. From there they proceeded on horseback to the Lighthouse. When the new Houses for the staff were completed in 1948, one of the old quarters was converted into stables. In 1964 the gravel road which ended on Goedgeloof, was extended to Seal Point and the trip from Humansdorp to the Lighthouse could be done comfortably in half an hour. A radio beacon was established at the Lighthouse in 1964. Despite its slow disintegration, the lighthouse remains standing. Added to this is the fact that it acts as a lightning conductor of note, shattering window panes on the three occasions this happened up to 1921.
The Lighthouse is manned by a senior light keeper and two light keepers. In recent years a Township has been developed near the lighthouse which is no longer the lonely outpost it used to be. In the foreseeable future Cape St. Francis will, no doubt, also succumb to automation and when that day dawns the resident staff and their families will say farewell to the peace and quiet of Seal Point. The Lighthouse at Seal Point, was declared a National Monument on 11 May 1984.
The circular Lighthouse structure is the tallest masonry tower on the South African Coast. It is 28 metres in height and the focal plane of the light is 36 metres Above Sea Level, giving it a range of 28 sea miles. The stone for the tower was blasted from the reefs some 200 metres East of the site and it was cut and dressed to size and shape on the spot. The original optic was a second order dioptric apparatus comprising 8 lenses with upper and lower refracting prisms and provided a single white flash every 20 seconds. It was equipped with a 3 wick burner and produced a light beam with an intensity of 15 000 candles. In May 1906 the flash rate was accelerated to one flash every 5 seconds and a petroleum vapor burner installed, resulting in the candlepower being increased to 120 000 candles. The candlepower was further increased to 2 750 000 candles in 1931 when a 4 kw incandescent electric lamp replaced the mantle burner. Power was provided by diesel electric generators and an electrically operated fog signal installed at the same time. The present illuminate is a 1,5 kw lamp giving the light a range of 28 Sea Miles.
Until 1959 the revolving light was driven by clockwork, actuated by a set of weights suspended from a chain. The motion was regulated by a governor fitted with a brake and weighted lever attachment to keep the apparatus in revolution whilst the weights were heaved up manually. This had to be done every 4 hours by the duty light keeper. The old mechanism has fortunately been preserved as a curiosity of days gone by! The cost of the lighthouse tower was R 23 688 and that of the original dioptric apparatus R 9 954.

24° 49' 58.8", -34° 12' 43.2"