Crowdy Head Lighthouse, built in 1879 is significant as a lighthouse designed by the Colonial Architect James Barnet and shows typical characteristics of this style such as the oversailing bluestone platform supported by corbels (Criteria D.2 and H.1). The lighthouse is significant as one of five small lighthouses built on the New South Wales north coast in the late nineteenth century and exhibits a simple and practical approach to lighthouse construction rather than the popular association with the more impressive and massive lighthouse structures of the time (Criterion B.2). The lighthouse is significant for its association with the maritime navigational aids established along the eastern coast of Australia and its contribution to the once vital north coast run of shipping and cargo between Queensland and New South Wales (Criterion A.4).
Crowdy Head Lighthouse was erected in 1879 upon the rocky northern headland overlooking the mouth of the Manning River, and is the fifth and last of a series of small navigation lights built to a design prepared in the office of Colonial Architect James Barnet.
Similar buildings were erected at headlands upon the Tweed, Richmond, Clarence and Hastings Rivers.
The light in each case was a fixed white light of fourth order catadioptric type, exhibited from a brick tower.
The lighthouse is circular on plan and capped by an oversailing bluestone platform supported by shaped bluestone corbels at an approximate height of 12ft above ground level. The platform is reached from a 6ft diameter internal well of the tower by a metal stair from the concrete slab which forms the ground floor and foundation for the buildings.
The tower walls of brick taper from a thickness of 19in (475mm) at the base to 14in at the platform level.
An enclosed porch, roofed just above door height is built as a connecting link between the circular tower and rectangular annexe and contains a duty room for the keeper and a store for fuel (originally oil).
External walls have been cement rendered and painted. The tower is surmounted by a simple metal domed lantern which encloses the optical apparatus.
A handrail at the platform perimeter is of painted cast iron standards with wrought iron rails. The focal plane of the light is 62m above lea level with an original visibility horizon of 16 nautical miles.
Crowdy Head was converted to electricity in June of 1972.