Iconic Burgh Island sea tractor celebrates 50th birthday

PUBLISHED: 11:56 26 March 2019

The sea tractor at Burgh Island is 50 years old

The sea tractor at Burgh Island is 50 years old


South Devon’s Burgh Island hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary this year – and the 50th anniversary of its unique sea tractor

The sea tractor is the main point of access to the island at high tide, serving almost as a time-machine for passengers from the mainland to travel back into the 1920s art deco style luxury retreat.

Originally built in 1969, by engineering pioneer Robert Jackson CBE in exchange for a case of champagne, the current sea tractor is the third generation to serve Burgh Island.

All have been built on the same principles and the present-day sea tractor is also consistent with modern safety standards. Maintaining the sea tractor, has many challenges as it operates in a tough environment given its age, with spare parts often needing to be custom made.

To mark its 90th anniversary the hotel is undergoing a multi-million-pound major refurbishment. The renovation will include upgrading of all the public areas, as well as the gardens.

Addition of further bedrooms and a spa is planned for 2020.

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